Archive for June, 2011

New Government Report: Afghanistan

Afghanistan: U.S. Efforts to Vet Non-U.S. Vendors Need Improvement

by William M. Solis
Paperback, 46 pages, 2011, $20.00
ISBN: 1437987125

The DoD, State, and the USAID have collectively obligated billions of dollars for contracts and assistance to support U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. There are concerns that U.S. funds are being diverted to fund insurgent and criminal activity in Afghanistan. This review was initiated to identify DoD, State, and USAID efforts to vet non-U.S. contractors and assistance recipients in Afghanistan. It examines: (1) the extent to which DoD, State and USAID have established a process to vet non-U.S. vendors to ensure that resources are not used to support insurgents; and (2) the extent to which vetting information is shared among DoD, State, and USAID. Charts and tables.

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June 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm Leave a comment

New Government Report: Sovereign Debt (SD) in Advanced Economies

Sovereign Debt (SD) in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress

by Rebecca M. Nelson
Paperback, 31 pages, 2011, $20.00
ISBN: 1437987109

SD, also called public debt or government debt, refers to debt incurred by governments. Since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, public debt in advanced economies has increased substantially. A number of factors related to the financial crisis have fueled the increase, including fiscal stimulus packages, the nationalization of private-sector debt, and lower tax revenue. Even if economic growth reverses some of these trends, aging populations in advanced economies are expected to strain government debt levels in coming years. Contents of this report: Definition and Concepts; Trends in SD; Addressing High Debt Levels; Is the U.S. Headed for a Eurozone-Style Debt Crisis?; Implications for the U.S. Economy; U.S. Bank Exposure Overseas.

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June 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm Leave a comment

New Government Report: Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability: Ticket to Work (TW) Participation has Increased, but Additional Oversight Needed

by Daniel Bertoni
Paperback, 80 pages, 2011, $25.00
ISBN: 1437986994

The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays billions of dollars in Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income to people with disabilities. The TW program provides eligible beneficiaries with a ticket they may assign to employment networks (EN). ENs help them obtain employment and reduce dependence on SSA benefits. ENs receive payments from SSA once a ticket holder (TH) has earnings exceeding a set threshold. Due to low participation, SSA changed program regulations. to provide ENs and TH with more incentives to participate. This report examines: (1) changes in TH and EN participation over time; (2) service approaches used by ENs; and (3) SSA’s efforts to evaluate TH and ENs.

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June 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm Leave a comment

New Government Report: Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program

Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program: Improvements Needed in Controls over Reporting Deposits and Expenditures

by Kay L. Daly
Paperback, 43 pages, 2011, $20.00
ISBN: 1437987257

To help combat fraud and abuse in health care programs, Congress enacted the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) program as part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HIPAA requires that the Depts. of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Justice (DoJ) issue a joint annual report to Congress on amounts deposited to and appropriated from the Fed. Hospital Insur. Trust Fund for the HCFAC program. This review assesses the extent to which HHS and DOJ: (1) took actions to address the recommendations made in a 2005 report; and (2) designed effective controls over reporting HCFAC deposits and expenditures for FY 2008 and 2009. Charts and tables.

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June 13, 2011 at 11:53 am Leave a comment

New Government Report: Air Quality

Air Quality: Information on Tall Smokestacks and Their Contribution to Interstate Transport of Air Pollution

by David C. Trimble
Paperback, 34 pages, 2011, $20.00
ISBN: 1437987317

Tall smokestacks (TS) — stacks of 500 feet or higher, which are primarily used at coal power plants — release air pollutants high into the atmosphere to help limit the impact of these emissions on local air quality. The 1977 amend. to the Clean Air Act encourage the use of pollution control equipment over dispersion techniques, such as TS, to meet national air standards. This report discusses: (1) the number and location of TS of 500 feet or higher at coal power plants; (2) what is known about such stacks’ contribution to the interstate transport of air pollution and the pollution controls installed at plants with these stacks; and (3) the number of TS that were built above good engineering practice height since 1988 and the reasons for this.

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June 13, 2011 at 11:49 am Leave a comment

New Government Report: Options for Changing the Tax Treatment of Charitable Giving

Options for Changing the Tax Treatment of Charitable Giving

by Athipat Muthitacharoen
Paperback, 38 pages, 2011, $20.00
ISBN: 1437986648

The deductibility of charitable donations has been a feature of the U.S. individual income tax almost as long as the modern income tax has been in existence. Nevertheless, concerns about the cost, equity, and efficiency of the deduction have prompted many proposals to change the tax treatment of charitable contributions. This report examines patterns of individual charitable giving and analyzes how options for changing the tax treatment of such giving might affect the overall level of donations, the costs to the federal government, and the distribution of tax benefits by income group. Tables and figures. This is a print on demand edition of an important, hard-to-find publication.

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June 6, 2011 at 10:23 am Leave a comment

New Government Report: Potential Effects of a Ban on Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of New Prescription Drugs

Potential Effects of a Ban on Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of New Prescription Drugs

by Sheila Campbell
Paperback, 8 pages, 2011, $10.00
ISBN: 1437986631

Concerns about direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs have spurred recent proposals for a moratorium on advertising brand-name prescription drugs to consumers during the first two years following a drug’s approval by the Food and Drug Administration. This report examines some of the effects of such a moratorium, drawing on data documenting direct-to-consumer advertising and other promotional activities used by pharmaceutical producers as well as academic analyses of how advertising has affected the market for drugs. Charts and tables. This is a print on demand edition of an important, hard-to-find publication.

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June 6, 2011 at 10:19 am Leave a comment

New Government Report: Policy Reform in the Tobacco Industry

Policy Reform in the Tobacco Industry: Producers Adapt to a Changing Market

by Linda Foreman & William McBride
Paperback, 20 pages, 2011, $20.00
ISBN: 1437986624

The Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 eliminated tobacco quotas and tobacco price supports and allowed producers to plant any amount or type of tobacco regardless of geographic location. Flue-cured tobacco producers (FCTP) made greater adjustments to their operations after the buyout than did burley tobacco producers (BTP). FCTP were more likely to increase tobacco acres per farm, pushing up the tobacco acreage per farm at a faster rate compared with BTP. They also invested more per farm after 2004. With over 75% of tobacco farms using hired or contract labor in 2008, the availability and cost of workers have become increasingly important to tobacco producers. Charts and tables. This is a print on demand report.

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June 6, 2011 at 10:15 am Leave a comment

New Government Report: Overview of the Federal Debt

Overview of the Federal Debt

by D. Andrew Austin
Paperback, 24 pages, 2011, $20.00
ISBN: 1437986570

The size of current and projected fed. deficits and the accumulation of federal debt (FD) are central to current congressional deliberations regarding fiscal reforms. Here is a broad overview of the FD, annual budget deficits, and debt service costs. FD is the accumulated sum of unrepaid borrowing by the federal government. The total FD consists of debt held by the public and intra-governmental debt. Debt owed to the public represents borrowing from state and local governments, foreign governments and investors, the Federal Reserve System, and foreign central banks, as well as private investors. Contents of this report: Structure of the FD; Deficits, Debt, and Interest Costs; Holdings of FD; What is the “Best” Measure of FD. Charts and tables. This is a print on demand report.

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June 6, 2011 at 10:10 am Leave a comment

New Government Report: Taxes and Identity Theft Status of IRS Initiatives to Help Victimized Taxpayers

New Government Report: Taxes and Identity Theft Status of IRS Initiatives to Help Victimized Taxpayers: Congressional Testimony

by James R. White
Paperback, 17 pages, 2011, $20.00
ISBN: 1437986501

Identity theft (IT) is a serious and growing problem in the U.S. Taxpayers are harmed when identity thieves file fraudulent tax documents using stolen names and Social Security numbers. In 2010, the IRS identified 245,000+ IT incidents that affected the tax system. The hundreds of thousands of taxpayers with tax problems caused by IT represent a small percentage of the 140 million individual returns filed, but for those affected, the problems can be quite serious. This report describes: (1) when IRS detects IT based refund and employ. fraud; (2) the steps IRS has taken to resolve, detect, and prevent innocent taxpayers’ IT related problems; and (3) constraints that hinder IRS’s ability to address these issues. Illus. This is a print on demand report.

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June 6, 2011 at 10:04 am Leave a comment

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