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- Released September 22, 2008
A Unified Security Budget for the United States, FY 2009
In this fifth annual edition of the “Unified Security Budget,” as with the previous four editions, a non-partisan task force of military, homeland security, and foreign policy experts laid out the facts of the imbalance between military and non-military spending. The ratio of funding for military forces vs. non-military international engagement in the Bush administration’s proposed budget for the 2009 fiscal year has widened to 18:1 from 16:1 in the 2008 fiscal year, according to the report.
- Released August 25, 2008
Executive Excess 2008: How Average Taxpayers Subsidize Runaway Pay
The U.S. tax code is riddled with loopholes that allow top corporate and financial leaders to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Ordinary taxpayers wind up picking up the bill – to the tune of more than $20 billion per year. All five executive-friendly tax loopholes highlighted in the report are the targets of Congressional reforms. However, these efforts have stalled in the face of fierce opposition from corporate lobby groups. The report also finds that S&P 500 CEOs averaged $10.5 million in pay in 2007, 344 times the pay of typical American workers. Compensation levels for private investment fund managers soared even further. The top 50 hedge and private equity fund managers averaged $588 million each, more than 19,000 times as much as typical U.S. workers earned.
- Released June 24, 2008
As Americans prepare to pay extra for checked bags, wait in long lines, and endure increasingly crowded commercial flights, super-wealthy private jet owners are enjoying tax breaks and luxury at the public’s expense. “High Flyers: How Private Jet Travel Is Straining the System, Warming the Planet, and Costing You Money,” a report from the Institute for Policy Studies and Essential Action, exposes the impacts of private aviation on the air traffic system, carbon emissions, and everyday travelers. The report criticizes government inaction to rein in gas-guzzling, sky-crowding private jets, and the super-wealthy High Flyers who dodge security restrictions, carbon costs, and taxes.
- Released June 20, 2008
Border Crossings: Links Between Immigration, Debt and Trade
Immigrants need stronger protections in the United States, but the policy response should also address poverty and joblessness in their home countries. Debt cancellation is one measure that would give impoverished country governments a better chance of providing basic services, like health care and education. Combined with new approaches to trade, investment, and aid, it could help many developing countries reduce the economic pressures that drive migration.
- Released May 21, 2008
Citizens are prone to stand up when the President enters a room. They may even put on their suit jackets when the president phones, as distinguished historian Arthur Schlesinger did when President Kennedy called. However, since the beginning of the Republic, Americans have made clear to their Presidents that they should not expect respect. This despite the best presidential efforts; when President Nixon sought to foster an imperial aura about himself with an honor guard dressed in uniforms reminiscent of Kaiser Wilhelm's escort, there was such an outcry of laughter, derision and disbelief that he quickly withdrew his clumsy attempt.
Presidential Disrespect profiles the political life and presidency of John Quincy Adams, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Within each profile you will find quotes from colleagues, press and ordinary citizenry disrespecting the presidents. The profiles also contain information about the elections that each president faced which in some ways parallel this year's political races.
Note: these reports are Adobe Acrobat PDF documents, which are easy to print and share but require PDF reader software to open. Mac OSX users can open PDF's natively. Microsoft Windows users who do not already have the software installed may need Acrobat Reader. It is a free download.