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Institute for Policy Studies
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  • November 19, 2012

    Al Jazeera features report “The CEO Campaign to ‘Fix’ the Debt: A Trojan Horse for Massive Corporate Tax Breaks”

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    If politics were truly rational and truly democratic, the tax-cutting Santa would be history. We've run the experiment not once, but twice, and the results were exactly what you'd expect in the first place: It didn't work. Revenues go down, deficits go way up: The tax-cutting Santa brings diamonds for millionaires, but only lumps of coal for the rest of us. 

    But politics is neither rational nor democratic - at least not without a great deal of struggle to make it so. It is a game of power, which usually means a game that those with money control. A classic example of that is the "bipartisan" "Fix The Debt" campaign, the subject of a recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies,

  • November 18, 2012

    The Athens News

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    Back in the U.S., a group from Occupy Wall Street, which itself was inspired in part by the Spanish M-15 movement against austerity that began on May 15, 2011, has taken a creative approach to the blight of debt that is afflicting millions. Calling itself "Rolling Jubilee," after the ancient practice of forgiving all debts every 50 years, the group is buying debt from lenders, for pennies on the dollar, and canceling it.

    The amount may be symbolic, but an important message to President Obama and House Republicans as they wrangle over the future of the U.S. tax rates, deficit reduction and how to fund so-called entitlements. Sarah Anderson of the Institute for Policy Studies prefers to call Social Security and Medicare "earned benefit programs, because these are programs that American workers are paying into over their lives, and they have a right to that money, to have these basic social programs that have made us a much stronger society with a stronger middle class." Anderson told me, "The approach to the debt should be to look at the ways that we could raise revenues through ... taxing financial transactions ... cutting fossil-fuel subsidies and using carbon taxes, and cutting military spending. That kind of combination could raise trillions of dollars over the next decade."

  • November 16, 2012

    Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting

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    This week on CounterSpin: You're going to be hearing a lot more from corporate America, declares one press account, about getting the nation's finances in order. That's due to the Fix the Debt campaign, a group of CEOs and business heads with supposedly moderate reasonable plans to cut the deficit.

    So for those concerned that we wouldn't be hearing enough from corporate America, worry not. What should we know about Fix the Debt and their plans? We'll hear from Sarah Anderson, director of the Institute for Policy Studies' Global Economy Project.

  • November 16, 2012

    The (Prestonsburg, KY) Floyd County Times features article “The Trojan Horse in the Debt Debate”

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  • November 16, 2012

    The Newark Star-Ledger features article “The Trojan Horse in the Debt Debate”

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  • November 16, 2012

    Star Ledger features report “The CEO Campaign to ‘Fix’ the Debt: A Trojan Horse for Massive Corporate Tax Breaks”

    Visit the publisher's websiteSee the report

    Their ads call for what appears to be a moderate agenda of balancing spending cuts with some tax increases in order to bring down the deficit and ensure a bright future for the United States. But a closer look suggests the Fix the Debt campaign is a Trojan Horse.

    Behind their moderate slogans is an extreme agenda focused on further reducing corporate taxes and shifting the burden onto the poor and elderly.

    At the Institute for Policy Studies, we analyzed how much the Fix the Debt member corporations would have to gain from this particular corporate tax break. The results are staggering.

    We focused on the 63 Fix the Debt member companies that are publicly held and therefore must report how much they’ve amassed in overseas profits. Combined, these firms stand to gain as much as $134 billion in tax windfalls if the territorial system is adopted. That’s $134 billion that won’t go toward fixing the debt.

    One of the biggest potential winners from a territorial tax system is Microsoft, which could reap a savings of $19.4 billion on its $60.8 billion in accumulated foreign earnings.

  • November 16, 2012

    Capital Times

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    The amount may be symbolic, but an important message to President Obama and House Republicans as they wrangle over the future of the U.S. tax rates, deficit reduction and how to fund so-called entitlements. Sarah Anderson of the Institute for Policy Studies prefers to call Social Security and Medicare “earned benefit programs, because these are programs that American workers are paying into over their lives, and they have a right to that money, to have these basic social programs that have made us a much stronger society with a stronger middle class.”

    Anderson told me, “The approach to the debt should be to look at the ways that we could raise revenues through ... taxing financial transactions ... cutting fossil-fuel subsidies and using carbon taxes, and cutting military spending. That kind of combination could raise trillions of dollars over the next decade.”

  • November 15, 2012

    The Guardian

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    Back in the U.S., a group from Occupy Wall Street . . . Calling itself "Rolling Jubilee," after the ancient practice of forgiving all debts every 50 years, the group is buying debt from lenders, for pennies on the dollar, and canceling it.

    The amount may be symbolic, but an important message to President Obama and House Republicans as they wrangle over the future of the U.S. tax rates, deficit reduction and how to fund so-called entitlements.

    Sarah Anderson of the Institute for Policy Studies prefers to call Social Security and Medicare "earned benefit programs, because these are programs that American workers are paying into over their lives, and they have a right to that money, to have these basic social programs that have made us a much stronger society with a stronger middle class." Anderson told me, "The approach to the debt should be to look at the ways that we could raise revenues through ... taxing financial transactions ... cutting fossil-fuel subsidies and using carbon taxes, and cutting military spending. That kind of combination could raise trillions of dollars over the next decade."

  • November 14, 2012

    Truthout features report “The CEO Campaign to ‘Fix’ the Debt: A Trojan Horse for Massive Corporate Tax Breaks”

    Visit the publisher's websiteSee the report

    [S]ome of these corporations have already launched a campaign to convince lawmakers to give them huge tax breaks during fiscal cliff negotiations. Sixty-three CEOs representing the nation's largest corporations – including GE – are calling for a "territorial" tax system that will benefit corporations that offshore jobs and stash their profits overseas. According to a report by the Institute for Policy Studies – this new tax system would translate to $134 billion in new profits for these same corporations, with GE alone potentially saving more than $35 billion. Currently – corporations can defer tax payment on profits owned overseas to the future when they bring that money home. Under this new plan, corporations will never, ever have to pay taxes on those overseas profits.

  • November 14, 2012

    National Catholic Reporter features report “Executive Excess 2012: The CEO Hands in Uncle Sam's Pocket”

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    The Institute for Policy Studies’ “Executive Excess 2012” reports that in 2010 and 2011 a quarter of America’s 100 highest-paid CEOs took home more in pay than their corporations paid the U.S. in taxes. Two of those firms were Citigroup and AIG, both bailed out by taxpayers. In total, these 25 corporations have 533 subsidiaries in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Gibraltar.

    The CEOs’ hands in Uncle Sam’s pocket -- to use the institute’s neat phrase -- mean that “the four most direct tax subsidies for excessive executive pay cost taxpayers $14.4 billion per year -- $46 for every man, woman and child,” who, in effect, buy a CEO lunch, with a glass of wine, once a year.

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