Federal taxes - latest news and research

Climate costs up, federal protections down

Trump abandoning Paris is nothing compared to Congress abandoning us.

Federal budget - Republican

Yes, Trump just sold out world efforts to fight increases in our long-term costs from warming. But in the next few months prepare for a much bigger betrayal of America’s ability to protect itself. And most of us don’t see it coming.

The administration’s abandonment of the Paris Accord, the Clean Power Plan, and auto emissions standards all hurt the fight to reduce […]

How moving can lower your federal income tax

Federal tax rates are the same for everyone, right? So how could your federal taxes be lower if you moved?

1099 formA lot of us are going to relocate in coming years, as the effects of climate change hit America’s coasts. I suggest you put federal taxes on your checklist when shopping for a new hometown.

Consider this example. You and your recent classmate are both nurses. You have roughly the same experience, the same duties. […]

What infrastructure projects should we want?

What’s the cost of building new stuff compared to repairing what we have?

A climate-proof municipal budget means spending on maintenance, not new infrastructure.We may soon see an explosion of infrastructure spending. Trump, Clinton and Sanders all campaigned on the sorry state of America’s roads, water works, transit and bridges.

But what type of project will benefit you and me the most? Persuasive research says ‘Fix what we have. Don’t build more!’ There are two reasons: first what we have […]

Insure the value of your neighborhood against flooding

A community’s value is more than the sum of its properties. Community flood insurance can help climate-proof a neighborhood.

Some of these homes can’t find the money for repairs. What happens to the neighborhood?

After a flood, property owners benefit from flood insurance. We get cash for our losses. The money comes faster than federal disaster assistance (usually a loan anyway). And quick repairs maintain the value of our property.

But not every owner with a home or business in […]

Is climate migration starting along the US coast?

Living where they live is increasingly difficult, and they’re moving. Are similar pressures in store for you?

Climate-change migrants The beautifully-presented stories in the New York Times’ Climate Casualties series are straws in a warm wind. Yes, some are remote. Bolivia’s second-largest lake has dried up completely, and everyone around it is leaving. West African subsistence farmers are giving up and trying to get to Libya, maybe Italy. Over a million Chinese have been resettled away from the sandstorms of an expanding desert.

But […]

Will Washington still spend for climate resilience?

The federal government may no longer help to slow global warming. Will they continue to pay to prevent its damage?

Raising homes to protect from sea level rise from global warming.The US Army Corp of Engineers is proposing to raise 341 homes and businesses along the beaches and salt ponds of southern Rhode Island.

It may seem wrong to use public money to save private structures, but if we accept that federal and state funds should be used […]

Advocacy for protection to replace prevention?

Mitigation hit a wall Tuesday. Climate hawks may shift their focus to Adaptation.

Adaptation versus MitigationTwo days after the election, I’ve contacted several of the big non-profits that have been laboring to persuade us and our Washington lawmakers to take actions to slow global warming. That effort seems to have come to naught, thanks both to the Republican takeover in Washington and the voter sentiment behind it.

Several organizations confirmed they are re-examining their climate change strategies post-Obama. One likely adjustment is […]

Red-blue split on climate in your town?

Global warming is paralyzing Congress. Can you keep your town nimble?

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 11.56.55 AMThere’s bad news for those hoping to protect themselves from the threats of warming: a new study says American voters are increasingly polarized on the issue, paralysing Congress and many State Houses.

The good news may be that most of warming’s impact on our family finances will come from highly-local effects anyway, and many of those threats can be parried or escaped through local […]

The courts – out ahead again

Should we be campaigning for judges harder than for legislators?

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 9.48.36 AMWith federal and state lawmakers frozen solid for over a decade, the judiciary again seems to be making the only public-policy progress toward climate-proofing our society.

This week comes another example. A federal court ruled that EPA regulations can take into account worldwide, not just national, damage from emissions. Seems that, given how the atmosphere works, America First is a flawed protection strategy. (Come to […]

Warming and stagflation

Warming produces stagflation, which will render monetary policy a two-edged sword. […]