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Subsidizing Bad Behavior

BP’s recent $4.5 billion legal settlement with the Justice Department for its misdeeds in the Gulf oil spill was historic for being the largest ever criminal settlement.  But it was historic for another reason as well—none of it is allowed to be tax deductible.  Unfortunately, too many settlements for wrongdoing end up as tax deductions.

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News Release | WashPIRG | Tax

First Step to Avoid the Fiscal Cliff: Close Offshore Tax Loopholes

 

With Congress scrambling to agree on ways to reduce the deficit, WashPIRG points out a clear first step to avoid the “fiscal cliff”: closing offshore tax loopholes. Many of America’s largest corporations and wealthiest individuals use accounting gimmicks to shift profits made in America to offshore tax havens, where they pay little to no taxes. This tax avoidance costs the federal government $150 billion in tax revenue each year.  WashPIRG released new data illustrating the size of this loss with 16 dramatic ways $150 billion could be spent.

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Report | WashPIRG | Tax

What America Could Do with $150 Billion Lost to Offshore Tax Havens

Many corporations and wealthy individuals use offshore tax havens—countries with minimal or no taxes—to avoid paying $150 billion in U.S. taxes each year.

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Report | WashPIRG | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2012

The 2012 Trouble in Toyland report is the 27th annual U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) survey of toy safety. In this report, U.S. PIRG provides safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for small children and provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Tax

This Time, BP Settlement Protects Taxpayers

Unlike earlier settlements from the Gulf Oil spill, the settlement the U.S. Justice Department negotiated with BP stipulated that none of the penalties paid are tax-deductible, according to Lanny Breuer, head of the Dept. of Justice's criminal division.

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News Release | WashPIRG | Financial Reform

Keeping Foxes In Charge of the Chicken Coop

With overwhelming public support that continues, Congress in July 2010 passed important new financial rules and created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to oversee and regulate financial services from a consumer-based perspective. Now, less than two months before the landmark consumer cop takes over, the U.S. House of Representatives is poised to “stick a knife in its ribs,” in the words of Elizabeth Warren, who has been tasked by President Obama with running the CFPB.

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Media Hit | Food

OBESITY: Farm subsidies make unhealthy food cheap

Letter by Steve Breaux, Seattle

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News Release | WashPIRG | Financial Reform

Two Years After Passing the Credit CARD Act, Congress Steps Up Attacks on Consumer Cop Designed to Enforce It

“The Credit CARD Act of 2009 has eliminated numerous credit card tricks and traps without causing skyrocketing interest rates or any of the other horrible side-effects that the banks once warned about.  In spite of that success, the banks and their Congressional allies are now seeking to eliminate the CFPB, the new consumer cop created to enforce the CARD Act and protect consumers from other tricks of the trade, like deceptive mortgage practices and unfair overdraft fees.

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News Release | WashPIRG | Democracy

Governor to sign watered-down campaign finance legislation

Governor Gregoire today is expected to sign legislation that was originally intended to curb campaign finance abuses in Washington, although the bill presented to her contains significantly fewer limits on abuses than it started with.

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News Release | WashPIRG | Consumer Protection

Chemical Threat Persists in Food and Beverage Packaging

Fourteen of the largest public packaged food and beverage companies still use the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in their packaging despite studies linking the synthetic sex hormone to developmental problems, heart disease and diabetes, according to a new report by investors Green Century Capital Management (“Green Century”) and As You Sow. 

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Priority Action

The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is threatening the effectiveness of lifesaving antibiotics. Call on the Obama administration to put an end to the worst practices.

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