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

Taxpayers Tab

Taxpayers Tab Issue #20

November 23, 2010

Vol. 1 Issue 20 November 23, 2010

Welcome to the Taxpayer's Tab
-- the weekly newsletter for up-to-the-minute research from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation's BillTally Project.

Since 1991, NTUF has computed the legislative spending agendas of Members of Congress by analyzing the costs -- and savings -- of the bills that they sponsor and cosponsor. Our goal is to provide you with objective information about what Congress wants to do with your tax dollars in an open and transparent manner.

Each week, NTUF will bring you updates on the week's most and least expensive bills, the ones with the most cosponsors ("the most friended"), and a few bills we've termed Wildcards -- bills that we think you might find interesting.

For more information on the National Taxpayers Union Foundation or the BillTally Project, check out our website and methodology.

Most Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: H.R. 6300, State and Local Spending Will Help Save America Act

Annualized Cost: $200 billion ($400 billion over two years)

The State and Local Spending Will Help Save America Act was introduced in late September by Congressman Dennis Kucinich (OH-10). The bill would authorize $200 billion in FY 2011 and another $200 billion in FY 2012 in federal funds to supplement state budgets.

The payments would be made on a quarterly basis and each state -- including the District of Columbia and U.S. territories -- would receive funds based on its population size.

Least Expensive Bill of the Week

The Bill: H.R. 5779, Reduce and End our Deficits Using Commonsense Eliminations (REDUCE) in the Agriculture Program Act

Annualized Savings: -$627 million (first year savings)

NTU Foundation has scored another bill sponsored by the Spending Cuts and Deficit Reduction Working Group.  In Issue 12 of The Taxpayer's Tab, the REDUCE in the Defense Programs Act was highlighted as that week's Least Expensive Bill.  Congressman James Himes (CT-4) -- a member of the working group -- sponsored a spending cut bill targeting farming and forestry programs.

The bill makes a number of cuts to programs that the Working Group calls "duplicative and unnecessary." Programs facing cuts include health care grants administered by the Department of Agriculture and subsidies to private logging companies.  These cuts would result in a one-time savings of $195 million.  NTUF's savings estimate differs from that of the sponsor because one-time savings are accounted for only in the year in which they accrue and not over multiple years as included in the sponsor's estimate.

Additionally, the bill would reduce commodity payments to wealthy farmers and cut reimbursement rates to private crop insurers.  These program changes would save $2.16 billion over five years.

Most Friended

The Bill: H.R. 4971, Greening Food Deserts Act

Number of Cosponsors: 68 Congressmen

H.R. 4971 focuses on local food producers and markets with a $14.757 billion increase in federal spending over five years. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) sponsored the legislation earlier this year.

The Department of Agriculture's Office of Urban Agriculture would address nutrition-related problems in underserved communities and help lower-income residents have better access to fresh fruits and vegetables.  According to NETWORK, a group supporting the bill, the legislation would "empower community garden programs, expand access to nutritious food by better connecting communities with local farmers, and promote agricultural education in schools."  Local farmers' markets would also receive funding to help improve senior citizen nutrition. 

Cosponsors include 67 Democrats and one Republicans in the House.

We Want You!

NTUF is looking for late summer/fall 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 To apply visit our internship page. Join us and help keep a tab on Congress!


Information in The Tab 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.


The Wildcard

The Bill: H.R. 5974/S. 3724, a bill to direct the Secretary of Education to pay to Fort Lewis College in the State of Colorado an amount equal to the tuition charges for Indian students who are not residents of the State of Colorado

Annualized Cost: $10 million ($50 million over five years)

Congressman John Salazar (CO-3) and Senator Michael Bennet (CO) have introduced legislation requiring the federal government to pay the tuition charges for all non-resident Native American students enrolled at Fort Lewis College in Colorado.  H.R. 5974 treats the payment as a reimbursement because the college admits Native American students free of charge. 

Speaking at the school, Congressman Salazar explained that one of the bill's goals is to not cut into other funding that the federal government provides for Native American education.  Salazar stated, "One of the things we wanted to do is try to make the feds responsible for the out-of-state tuition portion, $10 million a year.  We've introduced this legislation.  I think it's time for the federal government to start paying their fair share of tuition."


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!



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