Welcome to the fourth issue of the Taxpayer's Tab -- the weekly newsletter for up-to-the-minute research from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation's BillTally Project.
For more information on the National Taxpayers Union Foundation or the BillTally Project, check out our website and methodology.
The National Taxpayers Union Foundation in partnership with the Foundation for Educational Choice invites you to join us in celebrating Milton Friedman's 98th birthday with a film about four families in New York City desperately trying to get their children into a charter school and out of poverty. The Lottery is a documentary highlighting the conflict over educational choice that pits parents and their children against teacher unions in a battle for our country's future. RSVP here
When: Friday, July 30th, Doors open at 5PM
Movie begins at 5:15 PM Sharp
Where: Murphy's Grand Irish Pub - Second Floor
713 King Street - Alexandria, Virginia
Contact: Dan Barrett at (703) 683-5700 ext. 676
Most Expensive Bill of the Week
The Bill: S. 3442/H.R. 5442, Electric Vehicle Deployment Act
Annualized Cost: $624 million ($3.12 billion over five years)
The Electric Vehicle Deployment Act's sponsor intends "to encourage U.S. production and adoption of electric vehicles in response to some of the country's most pressing problems, from dependence on foreign oil to climate concerns." The bill calls for a national deployment plan, including tax credits for new electric vehicles, loans for electric-centric infrastructure improvements, and require the federal vehicle fleet to be converted to electric vehicles. Also established by the bill is a 500-mile Battery Fund, which encourages research in secondary uses of vehicle batteries, creating a secondary market for batteries, and recycling options.
With the support of Senators Lamar Alexander (TN) and Jeff Merkley (OR), Senator Byron Dorgan (ND) and Congressman Edward Markey (MA-7) introduced S. 3442 and H.R. 5442 respectively to reduce emissions and oil dependence. The legislation has been reported to neither close any power plants currently in operation nor require more plants to be built.
The bill authorizes $2.5 billion in the first year and $156 million in each of the next four fiscal years.
Least Expensive Bill of the Week
The Bill: H.R. 5538, To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit Federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting after fiscal year 2012
Annualized Savings: $466 million (first-year cost)
Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-5) says "[g]overnment spending is out of control and Obama's method of throwing more money at our economy is not working. Federal spending cuts need to start somewhere. CPB [The Corporation for Public Broadcasting] may produce worthwhile content. That is not the issue. The issue is we cannot subsidize organizations that can stand on their own two feet in the day of trillion dollar deficits."
The President's Fiscal Year 2010 budget estimates that the CPB will receive $466 million in FY 2011.
The Bill: H.R. 5138, International Megan's Law
Number of cosponsors: 22 Congressmen
In an effort to fight sex tourism, H.R. 5138 requires sex offenders to report their expected international trips at least 30 days before traveling abroad. Such information will be transmitted to American embassies and consular missions in foreign countries so that officials will be able to share information with foreign governments. The act also establishes the International Sex Offender Travel Center as a new entity under the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security. The Center would track offenders, principally those traveling to Mexico or Canada, provide training to state and local law enforcement, and share information with other agencies, such as the Department of Justice.
Congressman Christopher Smith (NJ-4) reports "[t]ogether with our anti-human trafficking laws, the International Megan's Law will work to ensure that we do more to protect children from the life long consequences of exploitation and prevent these heinous crimes - before they take place." As scored by CBO, International Megan's Law would have an annualized cost of $50 million ($252 million over five years).
Cosponsors include Congressmen from both parties representing different geographical areas.
The Bill: H.R. 5125, Restitution for Local Government Act
Before the credit and housing bubbles burst, many local governments bought financial products from Lehman Brothers. After its collapse in 2008, the municipalities' investments significantly decreased in value, resulting in losses by not only cities but other public entities such as school districts and colleges.
Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (CA-14) has sponsored legislation that diverts repaid TARP funds to bail out local governments for their investment losses. Originally, repaid TARP funds were to be reclaimed by the U.S. Treasury but under H.R. 5125, up to $1.7 billion of repaid TARP monies would be transferred to municipalities who held Lehman assets on September 12, 2008.
In a press release, Eshoo says "[w]hen Lehman collapsed, San Mateo County and other public agencies across the country were crippled, and we owe them some relief."
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!
The Taxpayer's 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. Cost estimates are preliminary and are subject to change.