Dedicated to helping citizens of all generations understand how tax and spending policies affect them.

Taxpayers Tab


Taxpayers Tab Issue #4

February 9, 2011
Vol. 2 Issue 4 February 9, 2011

cpac2011Entitlement spending threatens to bury America's future generations under at least $45.9 TRILLION of debt over the next 75 years. If the American Dream is to survive, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal benefit programs must be reformed. On Election Day the American People sent a clear message: It's past time for Washington to stop over-spending.

So what must be done to tackle this daunting and politically difficult task? Join NTUF on February 11th to find out! Don't miss this chance to see how all of us can help to overcome the greatest budgetary challenge out nation faces.

Featuring a Distinguished Panel of Experts:

  • The Honorable Devin Nunes of the House of Representatives
  • Maya MacGuineas, President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
  • Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President, American Action Forum
  • Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
  • Steve Moore, The Wall Street Journal

 Friday, February 11th, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
The Coolidge Room
2660 Woodley Road NW
Washington DC 20008

Visit NTUF's invite page or email ntuf@ntu.org for all the details!

Most Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: H.R. 333, Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act

Annualized Cost: $2.704 billion ($13.518 billion five year cost)

Military veterans are eligible for multiple forms of compensation after leaving the service. Traditional pensions, living assistance, housing vouchers, tax credits, and disability payments are just a few. To help control benefit costs, payments are offset across these different compensation systems.

Some legislators feel the caps are not justified, especially when considering the sacrifices veterans have made for the county. Congressman Sanford Bishop (GA-2) sponsored H.R. 333 to allow veterans to receive their full benefits, without the traditional limits on retirement and disability benefits. In other words, the benefits would be received concurrently. Congressman Bishop believes veterans "injured during their service to our country have rightfully earned their military retirement pay and VA disability benefits… [and] it is unjust that our current policies effectively tax these Americans, taking money right out of their pockets."

The bill also eliminates phase-in requirements for those receipts to be fully implemented, which can sometimes take up to four years to qualify for. This measure would result in more veterans receiving more benefits in more quickly -- another measure currently used to control costs and to allow private insurance companies to provide care.

Least Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: H.R. 335, a bill to provide for a 10 percent reduction in pay for Members of Congress.

Annualized Savings: -$9 million (first-year savings)

H.R. 335, sponsored by Congressman Morgan Griffith's (VA-9), calls for a 10 percent cut in the annual pay for each Congressman and Senator. The savings - about $9 million based on an estimated $94 million in Congressional salaries (see table below) - would be used to reduce the federal deficit. The majority of members would see a $17,400 reduction in their salaries in FY 2012.

Position Number of Members COLA Base Salary Total
Speaker 1 N/A* $223,500 $223,500
Leadership 5 N/A* $199,700 $994,000
General Members 529 N/A* $174,000 $92,046,000
Delegates** 6 N/A* $174,000 $1,044,000
Total 541 N/A   $94,307,500

* Cost-Of-Living-Adjustments were frozen for FY 2011
** Includes one Resident Commissioner

Source: Congressional Research Service, "Salaries of members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables" and U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Most Friended

The Bill: S. 102, Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act of 2011

Annualized Cost: Unknown

Number of Cosponsors: 27 Senators

As an alternative to line-item veto authority, Senator John McCain (AZ) sponsored S. 102 to expedite the consideration of spending rescissions. According to the bill, if the President proposes that Congress rescind funding, the Office of Management and Budget would send a message to Congress within 45 days of the enactment of the spending measure. The House and Senate would have to consider the rescission, without amending it, within five days. Rescinded funds would only be allowed to reduce the deficit or contribute to budgetary surpluses.

The Act might result in more rescissions, however, given the procedual nature of the bill NTUF is not able to quantify any potential savings associated with this measure.

Cosponsors include thirteen Democrats and fourteen Republicans in the Senate.

 

We Want You!

NTUF is looking for spring and summer associate policy analysts to participate in our internship program. Associates assist with BillTally research and other policy projects. Academic credit and a stipend are possible. Email questions to ntuf@ntu.org. To apply visit our internship page. Join us and help keep a tab on Congress!


The Wildcard

The Bill: H.R. 40, Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act

Annualized Cost: $8 million (first-year cost)

H.R. 40 would establish a seven-member commission to examine the degree to which the American government was complicit in institutionalized slavery, slavery's lingering negative effects, and to recommend ways to remedy those negative effects. The Commission would have the power to hold hearings and subpoena whom it sees fit.

The bill, sponsored by Congressman John Conyers (MI-14), calls for an $8 million appropriations level, which would be spent in the first year of enactment.


Missed an Issue of The Tab?

Read them online

Issue 3 - Feb. 2

Issue 2 - Jan. 19

Issue 1 - Jan. 11


 

About NTUF

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation is a research and educational organization dedicated solely to helping citizens of all generations understand how tax policies, spending programs, and regulations at all levels affect them now and in the future. Through NTUF's timely information, analysis, and commentary, we're empowering citizens to actively engage in the fiscal policy debate and hold public officials accountable every day.

NTUF is a 501(c)(3) research and education organization. Donations are deductible for personal income tax purposes. Please make a donation today to help further NTUF's mission of research and education!

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to aid or hinder the passage of any legislation or as a comment on any Member's fitness to serve.

 

 



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