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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Treasury Department scrubs paper from website

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Treasury Department removed from its website a 2012 technical paper that contradicts the statements that the Treasury Secretary has been making about corporate tax cuts.

The 34-page technical paper about corporate income taxes was written by staff of the Treasury Department's Office of Tax Analysis.

The Internet Archive captured the report as recently as May 20, 2017, but shows it gone by September 29.

Internet Archive shows “TP-5”.

Today: Treasury Department shows Technical Papers 1-4 and 6. Number 5 is missing.

The Wall Street Journal article says that the economic analysis in the paper "contradicts Secretary Steven Mnuchin's argument that workers would benefit the most from a corporate income tax cut." Mnuchin has been arguing that workers bear most of the corporate-tax burden, but the paper says that workers pay only 18% of the corporate tax while owners of capital pay 82%.

“The point is central to Mr. Mnuchin’s argument that workers would benefit from the corporate tax cut the administration is proposing, and switching that assumption would significantly alter the estimates of who would benefit from the Republican tax policy framework released on Wednesday.” [WSJ]

The article quotes a Treasury spokeswoman saying that "The paper was a dated staff analysis from the previous administration. It does not represent our current thinking and analysis.

According to the Treasury Department, technical papers of the Office of Tax Analysis are not intended to reflect department policy, but are intended to help improve the quality of analysis:

The OTA Technical Papers Series presents documentation of the models, datasets, and methods developed by staff and used for policy analysis and estimates. The papers are intended to generate discussion and critical comment while informing and improving the quality of the analysis conducted by the Office. The papers are works in progress and subject to revision. Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent official Treasury positions or policy. [Office of Tax Analysis]

Richard Rubin, the author of the WSJ article notes that other technical papers from 2008 through 2016 remain on its site, along with working papers dating back to 1974. The Technical paper was also published in the National Tax Journal publised by the National Tax Association.

  • "Distributing The Corporate Income Tax: Revised U.S. Treasury Methodology." Cronin, Julie Anne, Lin, Emily Y.,Power, Laura, Cooper, Michael. National Tax Journal, Mar 2013, Vol. 66 Issue 1, p239-262.

A search for the paper in Google Scholar still has a link to the URL at the Treasury Department , but that link returns an error message of: "401 UNAUTHORIZED."

Discussing DLC’s Title 44 Recommendations. Thoughts and questions

Depository Library Council (DLC) released its recommendations for Title 44 reform yesterday.

  • Title 44 Reform Recommendations from the DLC (October 03 2017) [PDF file].

These recommendations will be at the center of discussions at the upcoming Fall 2017 Depository Library Conference. The entire Monday afternoon session (October 16) will be devoted to a discussion of Title 44 with Depository Library Council (DLC).

A context for discussion

When we proposed changes to Title 44, we suggest that any recommendation for such change should address at least one of the following four principles.

  1. privacy
  2. free access and use
  3. preservation
  4. modernizing the scope of the FDLP

As we head into discussions of Title 44 at the upcoming DLC meeting, we suggest that attendees evaluate any Title 44 changes being recommended by turning those principles into questions:

    Does this recommendation…

  • protect the privacy of users?
  • help ensure long-term, free public access and use of government information?
  • help ensure the long-term preservation of government information?
  • modernize the scope of the FDLP for the digital age?

Analysis of DLC recommendations


Hearing on Title 44 and FDLP libraries now available for viewing

For all you documents nerds out there, the Committee on House Administration’s hearing on GPO and the FDLP is now available for your viewing pleasure. All of the witnesses’ written testimonies are now also available from the Committee’s repository. I’m glad that the FDLP community was able to represent. Enjoy!

GPO releases digital Congressional Record for the 1920s

GPO has just released another decade of digitized Congressional Record, this time 1921 – 1930. The Congressional Record is now available on govinfo from 1921 – 2008. Very cool!

Washington –The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partners with the Library of Congress to release the digital version of the bound Congressional Record from 1921-1930 on GPO’s govinfo site. This release covers the debates and proceedings of the 67th through the 71st Congresses.

This era of Congress covers historical topics such as:

  • The final two years of the administration of President Wilson, the administrations of Presidents
    Harding and Coolidge, and the first two years of the administration of President Hoover.
  • Prohibition
  • The Immigration Act of 1924
  • The Kellogg-Briand Pact to end war
  • The Dawes Plan for WWI reparations
  • The Teapot Dome Scandal
  • The Stock Market Crash of 1929

CHA Hearing on tuesday about Title 44 and “Transforming GPO for the 21st Century and Beyond”

Be sure to tune in this coming Tuesday for the Committee on House Administration’s hearing on Title 44 and the FDLP. It looks like it’ll be streaming from CHA’s Website. And if you haven’t yet done so, please sign our petition “Protect the public right to government information: help preserve and expand Title 44.” We’re at 779 signatures, which is pretty amazing considering the wonky nature of this petition. Keep it going!!


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

10:15 a.m. (eastern)

1310 Longworth House Office Building

Transforming GPO for the 21st Century and Beyond: Part 3 – Federal Depository Library Program

First Panel:

  • Ms. Laurie Hall, Acting Superintendent of Documents, Government Publishing Office

Second Panel:

  • Mr. Mike Furlough, Executive Director, HathiTrust Digital Library
  • Ms. Celina McDonald, Government Documents & Criminology Librarian, University of Maryland
  • Ms. Beth Williams, Library Director, Stanford Law School
  • Mr. Stephen Parks, State Librarian of Mississippi

via Hearing: Transforming GPO for the 21st Century and Beyond: Part 3 – Federal Depository Library Program | Committee on House Administration.