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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

As CFPB Advances Consumer Protection, Attacks on CFPB Escalate | Ed Mierzwinski

This week, the CFPB took a major step toward establishing a regulation restricting the use of forced arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts, which give companies what the CFPB's director said was a "free pass from being held accountable by their customers." Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, powerful bank interests escalated their campaign to defund and defang the bureau, because it works for consumers, not them.

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News Release | OSPIRG Foundation and Citizens for Tax Justice | Tax

Study: 72% of Fortune 500 Companies Used Tax Havens in 2014

Portland, October 6 – Tax loopholes encouraged more than 72 percent of Fortune 500 companies –including Nike based here in Oregon– to maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax havens as of 2014, according to “Offshore Shell Games,” released today by OSPIRG Foundation and Citizens for Tax Justice. Collectively, the companies reported booking nearly $2 trillion offshore for tax purposes, with just 30 companies accounting for 65 percent of the total, or $1.35 trillion.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation and Citizens for Tax Justice | Tax

OFFSHORE SHELL GAMES 2015

U.S.-based multinational corporations are allowed to play by a different set of rules than small and domestic businesses or individuals when it comes to the tax code. Rather than paying their full share, many multinational corporations use accounting tricks to pretend for tax purposes that a substantial portion of their profits are generated in offshore tax havens, countries with minimal or no taxes where a company’s presence may be as little as a mailbox. Multinational corporations’ use of tax havens allows them to avoid an estimated $90 billion in federal income taxes each year.

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Blog Post | Public Health

Threemile Canyon Farms and antibiotics | David Rosenfeld

Gov. Kate Brown recently disclosed that she plans to appoint an officer of Oregon’s largest factory farm – Threemile Canyon Farms – to the state Board of Agriculture. Friends of Family Farmers and a number of other groups are pushing back. OSPIRG doesn't have enough expertise on this matter to have a position, but it is clear that the Board of Agriculture plays an important role in shaping Oregon’s farm policy. This prompted me to go back and review the company's statements against a bill to curtail antibiotics overuse on farm animals. After doing so, I worry about what this appointment signals in terms of the Governor's stance on this critical public health issue.

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News Release | OSPIRG | Consumer Protection

OSPIRG Demands Real Penalties for Volkswagen and Full Rebates for Customers

The consumer group OSPIRG demanded today that Volkswagen be held fully accountable for its “defeat device” scheme to trick EPA pollution tests. The group also called for full rebates to the nearly 500,000 customers deceived into joining the scheme by VW’s false promises of “clean” diesel cars.

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Media Hit | Budget

Oregon gets B+ for government transparency

Oregon earned a B+ in an annual report that reviews the level of transparency in government spending.

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News Release | OSPIRG Foundation | Budget

Oregon Receives a B+ in Annual Report on Transparency of Government Spending

Researchers at the OSPIRG Foundation graded all 50 states on how well they provide online access to information about government spending. States were given "A" to "F" grades based on the characteristics of the online transparency systems they have created to provide provide information on contracts, subsidies and spending at quasi-public agencies.

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Media Hit | Budget

Oregon gets B+ for financial transparency

Oregon gets a grade of B+ for financial transparency, a report issued Wednesday states.

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Media Hit | Budget

Oregon Gets 'B-Plus' on Spending Transparency

Oregon received a "B+" grade when it comes to government spending transparency, according to "Following the Money 2012: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data," the third annual report from the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group.

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News Release | OSPIRG | Financial Reform

Amendment Passes to Crack Down on Offshore Tax Cheats

This amendment would give law enforcement officials important tools to stop foreign financial institutions in places like the Cayman Islands from aiding U.S. tax cheats. The $900 million this provision would raise over the next ten years can be put to good use funding public priorities like public transportation or reducing the deficit.

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Blog Post | Higher Ed

Wasteful student lender subsidies cut. Winner: students. | David Rosenfeld

Congress finally ended wasteful subsidies to student lenders that diverted billions of dollars annually away from helping more students go to college.

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Blog Post | Budget, Tax

Google Government Coming to Oregon | David Rosenfeld

The Oregon Legislature gave final approval to HB 2500 this morning, which sets up a one-stop website for taxpayer spending.

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Defend the CFPB

Tell your senators to oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act,” which would gut Wall Street reforms and destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it.

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