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Report | Demos and Maryland PIRG | Democracy

Billion Dollar Democracy

The first presidential election since Citizens United lived up to its hype, with unprecedented outside spending from new sources making headlines.
Dēmos and Maryland PIRG Foundation analysis of reports from campaigns, parties, and outside spenders to the Federal Election Commission found that our big money system distorts democracy and creates clear winners and losers.

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News Release | US PIRG | Tax

Subsidizing Bad Behavior

January 3 – A report released today spotlights a common practice where corporations that commit wrongdoing and agree to financial settlements with the federal government, go on to claim such settlement payments as tax-deductible business expenses. The new study, released by the Maryland Public Interest Research Group (Maryland PIRG), follows a record year of corporate settlements, while many more settlements relating to banking, environmental, and consumer safety issues are expected.

 

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Report | Tax

Subsidizing Bad Behavior

Corporations accused of wrongdoing commonly settle legal disputes with government regulators out of court. Doing so allows both the company and the government to avoid going to trial and the agency gets to appear as if it is teaching the company a lesson for its misdeeds. However, very often the corporations deduct the costs of the settlement on their taxes as an ordinary business expense, shifting a significant portion of the burden onto ordinary taxpayers to pick up the tab.

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News Release | Maryland PIRG | Tax

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

With Congress scrambling to agree on ways to reduce the deficit, Maryland PIRG joined with MaryPIRG Students and a concerned College Park student  today to point 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.  Maryland PIRG released new data illustrating the size of this loss with 16 dramatic ways $150 billion could be spent.

 

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Report | Maryland PIRG | 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. By shielding their income from U.S. taxes, corporations and wealthy individuals shift the tax burden to ordinary Americans, who must pick up the tab in the form of cuts to public services, more debt, or higher taxes. The $150 billion lost annually to offshore tax havens is a lot of money, especially at a time of difficult budget choices. To put this sum in perspective, we present 16 potential ways that income could be used.

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News Release | Consumer Protection

Many Toys Still Toxic, Hazardous

Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, Maryland Public Interest Research Group announced today in its 25th annual Trouble in Toyland report.

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News Release | Consumer Protection

States Lead on Toxic Chemical Reform While Congress Lags Behind

A first-ever analysis of votes on state laws aimed at protecting the public from toxic chemicals found that 18 states have passed 71 chemical safety laws in the last eight years by an overwhelming margin with broad bipartisan support.

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News Release | Transportation

High-Speed Rail Can Boost Economy, Reduce Traffic

Drawing lessons from other countries, a new study from Maryland PIRG shows that high-speed rail can boost our economy, save energy, curb pollution and provide a popular alternative to congested roads and airports.

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News Release | Budget, Tax

Unlikely Allies Uncover Billions in Federal Government Savings

As a federal commission continues to debate recommendations for addressing future federal deficits, a new study released today by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) provides the panel with a great place to start: more than $600 billion of spending cuts with appeal across the political spectrum.

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News Release | Safe Energy

Constellation Pulls Plug on New Nuclear Plant

Constellation Energy’s decision to cancel plans for a new nuclear reactor in Maryland is a victory for Marylanders and U.S. taxpayers.

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