Archive for the ‘political process’ Category

CRS — Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion (1/15/15)

May 20, 2015 Comments off

Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Cornell University ILR School)

Addressing tax evasion and avoidance through use of tax havens has been the subject of a number of proposals in Congress and by the President. Actions by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the G-20 industrialized nations also have addressed this issue. In the 111th Congress, the HIRE Act (P.L. 111-147) included several anti-evasion provisions, and P.L. 111-226 included foreign tax credit provisions directed at perceived abuses by U.S. multinationals. Numerous legislative proposals to address both individual tax evasion and corporate tax avoidance have been advanced.

Multinational firms can artificially shift profits from high-tax to low-tax jurisdictions using a variety of techniques, such as shifting debt to high-tax jurisdictions. Because tax on the income of foreign subsidiaries (except for certain passive income) is deferred until income is repatriated (paid to the U.S. parent as a dividend), this income can avoid current U.S. taxes, perhaps indefinitely.

CRS — Congressional Careers: Service Tenure and Patterns of Member Service, 1789-2015 (1/3/15)

May 20, 2015 Comments off

Congressional Careers: Service Tenure and Patterns of Member Service, 1789-2015 (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Cornell University ILR School)

This report presents data on Member tenure and a historical analysis of tenure trends. During the 19th century, the average service of Representatives and Senators remained roughly constant, with little or no change over time; the average years of service was slightly higher for the first half of the century than during the second. During the late 19th and through the 20th century, the average years of service for Senators and Representatives steadily increased.

The report also examines two further issues related to Member tenure: the distribution of Member service that underlies the aggregate chamber averages and historical trends in the percentage of Members who have served in both chambers. Although the average service tenure of Members has increased, more than half of Representatives and nearly half of Senators in recent Congresses have served eight years or less. While only a small and declining proportion of Representatives have historically had previous Senate experience, throughout history a sizeable percentage of Senators have previously served in the House.

Power relationships in the united states federal government and its effect on cybersecurity policy

May 12, 2015 Comments off

Power relationships in the United States federal government and its effect on cybersecurity policy (PDF)
Source: Journal of Information System Security (via ResearchGate)

The United States federal government faces a major challenge as it attempts to secure the nation’s resources and critical infrastructure: the politics and power relationships that form the essence of its very body. Implementing security in any organization will affect the power relationships within that organization (Lapke & Dhillon, 2008) and the federal government is one of the largest and most complex. Considering the long standing de jure and de fa cto power relationships inherent in the federal government, the implementation of broad reaching cyber security policy has been a long fought battle. Subramanian (2010) detailed the government’s approach to cyber security in the 10 year period between 2000 and 2010. This paper is an extension of Subramanian’s work and focuses the analysis through the lens of Clegg’s (2002) Circuits of Power. It explores the power relationships that impacted the decisions made by the executive, legislative, and judic ial branches of government. It also describes how these power relationships changed as a result of the emerging reality of cyber security.

Spring 2015 Brookings Panel on Economic Activity

May 3, 2015 Comments off

Spring 2015 Brookings Panel on Economic Activity
Source: Brookings Institution

New research findings at the Spring 2015 BPEA conference by leading academic and government economists include: a cause of growing inequality; the possible outcomes of an early Federal Reserve boost in the interest rates; public sentiment concerning redistributive fiscal plans; the economic welfare impacts of the fracking boom; an assessment of Chinese government-sponsored firms; and the possible consequences of anonymizing big data.

What Female Candidates Need to Know: Current Research on Gender Effects in Campaigns and Elections

May 1, 2015 Comments off

What Female Candidates Need to Know: Current Research on Gender Effects in Campaigns and Elections (PDF)
Source: Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Studies show that the vast majority of people have no problem voting for a woman and that when women run they win as often as men, yet female representation remains startlingly low in the U.S. Women are 50.8 percent of the U.S. population, but they account for merely 19.4% of the 535 seats in Congress, 24.5% of statewide executive positions, 24.2% of state legislatures, and 17.6% of mayors in cities with populations over 30,000 (Center for American Women and Politics 2015).

There is certainly much research dedicated to gender and politics. But what is missing from current literature is an organized compilation of relevant research that can be easily used for practical purposes. While many books and articles have been written on various pieces of this puzzle, there is not a comprehensive manual for practical use drawing from a range of research. I intend to build on existing literature by organizing it in topical categories and presenting the findings of current research with some practical implications. My hope is that it can serve as a reference guide tailored to both researchers and practitioners.

CRS — Freedom of Information Act Legislation in the 114th Congress: Issue Summary and Side-by-Side Analysis (February 26, 2015)

April 23, 2015 Comments off

Freedom of Information Act Legislation in the 114th Congress: Issue Summary and Side-by-Side Analysis (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Both the House and Senate are currently considering legislation that would make substantive changes to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). FOIA was originally enacted in 1966 and has been amended numerous times since—most recently in 2009. FOIA provides the public with a presumptive right to access agency records, limited by nine exemptions that allow agencies to withhold certain types or categories of records.

Making the US federal budget: Process and hazards

April 22, 2015 Comments off

Making the US federal budget: Process and hazards
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

The federal budget makes up roughly half of all public spending in the US, with the rest spent at state and local level. The United States (US) Congress, comprising the House of Representatives and the Senate, is responsible for passing the legislation that constitutes the budget, but the President also plays an important role, both in launching the process through a formal budget proposal and in bringing it to an end by signing appropriations, revenue and entitlement bills into law. While the budget process is formally set out in legislation, budget-making in practice can be quite different. The Constitution grants the ‘power of the purse’ to Congress, but it is ultimately the President who signs bills into law. This de facto division of powers between President and Congress, and within Congress between the House of Representatives and the Senate, poses specific challenges – not least when the House, the Senate and the Presidency are controlled by different parties. These challenges have been conspicuous in recent years, as lawmakers have struggled to follow the prescribed timetable, necessitating other procedures and stopgap measures to maintain funding for vital government functions. In addition, in response to mounting government debt and political deadlock, attempts have been made to bind future legislatures, by locking in budget cuts in a process known as ‘sequestration’. At times the key players have been unable to reach agreement, cutting off funding from parts of the government and putting the US at risk of a sovereign default.


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