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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:31pm
Thu Mar 24

Ryan Renounces Previous 'Makers And Takers' Rhetoric As Progressives Rebuke GOP 'Austerity' Budget Plan

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI,1) expressed regret this week for his past comments against poor Americans, saying in a major speech Wednesday that he was wrong for calling people "makers and takers."

"There was a time that I would talk about a difference between 'makers' and 'takers' in our country, referring to people who accepted government benefits. But as I spent more time listening, really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized something. I realized that I was wrong," Ryan said during his speech about the state of American politics. "'Takers' wasn't how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, trying to take care of her family. Most people don't want to be dependent. And to label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong. I shouldn't castigate a large group of Americans just to make a point."

In a question and answer session after his speech, delivered before a group of House interns, Ryan added, "I was callous and I oversimplified and I castigated people with a broad brush. That's wrong. And there's a lot of that happening in America today. I myself have made that mistake."

Despite Ryan's noteworthy change in rhetoric, and his push this year to make combating poverty a top GOP priority, critics say his policies speak for themselves.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:51am
Wed Sep 9, 2015

New Accounting Rule Requires Cities, States To Disclose Tax Break Costs

Government reporting on tax-based economic development subsidies will become more transparent under a new policy from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

That's the organization that sets accounting and financial reporting standards for U.S. states and localities.

Under GASB's "tax abatement disclosures" rule released in mid-August, state and local governments will have to disclose how much revenue they lose as part of income, property and sales tax breaks, including those designed for economic development purposes.

GASB said its new rule, the first of its kind, will make it easier to determine the impacts of tax abatement programs on a government's fiscal condition and ability to raise revenue.

"This new guidance will result in people who use governmental financial statements having access to essential information about the tax abatements governments enter into," said GASB Chair David Vaudt. "Not only will this mean that they'll have access to information that will allow them to better assess a government's financial health, but it will also make the impact of these agreements much more apparent."

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