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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund and Demos | 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.

Demos and U.S. PIRG 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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Central Mass Colleges Score Over $150K From Credit Card Agreements

Central Mass colleges and alumni associations received over $150,000 from credit card company agreements in 2011, according to the 2012 annual report and database from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

MASSPIRG outlines agressive credit card marketing practices and provides tips on how to avoid high fees. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Solid Waste

Coalition Lauds Proposal to Increase Bottle Bill Handling Fee

We applaud EOEEA Secretary Rick Sullivan’s proposed regulations to increase the bottle bill handling fee. Bottle redemption centers, small, family-owned businesses that are a key part of making the bottle bill work, haven’t had a raise in the 2.25 cent handling fee for over 20 years.

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Media Hit | Tax

Look offshore to avert the fiscal cliff

There are better ways to use $150 billion than having it sit in a P.O. box in the Caymans. With the fiscal cliff on the horizon, closing offshore tax loopholes should be an obvious first step to solving our budget woes.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Budget, Tax

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

With Congress scrambling to agree on ways to reduce the deficit, MASSPIRG joined with business, legislative and community leaders 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 kind of tax avoidance costs the federal government $150 billion in tax revenue each year.

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News Release | Consumer Protection

House Passes Bill to Remove Prices From Groceries

It soon may be harder for Massachusetts shoppers to find out the price of groceries if a bill that today quietly passed the House without even a roll call vote becomes law. “This is bad news for shoppers, and for democracy.  To take away consumer rights without a recorded roll call vote is unconscionable,” said Deirdre Cummings, MASSPIRG legislative director.  “This is a pro-big-business bill that will hurt all shoppers.”

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Media Hit | Solid Waste

Still waiting for state’s master plan to reduce solid waste

While it’s cause for great celebration that Massachusetts is planning to reduce waste, it’s also a reminder that the Department of Environmental Protection has yet to produce the solid waste master plan — the comprehensive, 10-year waste plan required by law. We can’t help feeling like we’re at the celebration, blindfolded, with a tail in our hands but no donkey on the wall.

 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Consumer Groups Oppose Bill to Remove Prices From Groceries

 

It soon may be harder for Massachusetts shoppers to find out the price of groceries if a bill just entering the final stage of passage in the House becomes law.

“Everywhere we turn, we are bombarded with ever more sophisticated pricing strategies and gimmicks by companies trying to sell us things.  These days shoppers need more and clearer price information, not less about the products we buy,” said Deirdre Cummings, MASSPIRG legislative director.  “This is a pro-big-business, anti-consumer bill.”

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Consumer advocates blast proposed item-pricing changes

“These days shoppers need more and clearer price information, not less about the products we buy,” Deirdre Cummings, MASSPIRG legislative director, said in a statement. “This is a pro-big-business, anti-consumer bill.”

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Higher Ed

Students Give Scott Brown a Math Lesson

“Senator Scott Brown has expressed his commitment to affordable higher education. But on Tuesday he voted to block a Senate bill that would have extended existing student loan interest rates,” said Lizzi Weyant, staff attorney at MASSPIRG. “Bay State students can’t afford for him not to vote the right way.”

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