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Main Street to Microsoft: “Stop offshore tax dodging”

This week, hundreds of Washington state small business owners affiliated with the Main Street Alliance of Washington sent an open letter to Microsoft calling on tech giant to stop offshore tax dodging, the Seattle Times reports.

According to BloombergBusinessweek, Microsoft tops the list of U.S. tech firms with the biggest overseas profit hauls, holding $76 billion in profits stashed offshore.  In their letter, small business owners express their disappointment that Microsoft has joined in coalitions with other big corporate interests lobbying for a permanent tax amnesty on offshore profits – a so-called “territorial” tax system – while backing cuts to Medicare and Social Security that would wreak further havoc on the Main Street economy.

“Small business owners are proud to contribute our fair share. We know that in order to build strong local economies, Read more

Bad Medicine Report Details Influence of Pharma in DC Budget Failure

Released to the Press

September 25, 2013

 

New Report Analyzes Interest Group Influence in Blocking Proposed Cost Saving Measures in Medicare

Report Finds Influence of Pharmaceutical Industry as Major Impasse to Common Sense Budget Fixes

Congress has failed to act on a commonsense, good-government approach to controlling health care costs. The significant resources the pharmaceutical industry has put toward influence and access has rendered Congress unable to act in the public interest.

Bad Medicine Report.image

 

Bad Medicine: Pharmaceuticals’ Prescription for Profits Over People, released by the Alliance for a Just Society details the overwhelming influence of Big PhRMA on congressional outcomes and finds that the imbalance created by industry spending harms both the interest of the American people and our democratic process.

Read more

Tax Havens for Big Business? Small Business Owners Say ‘Not so fast’

Multi-Partisan small business owners spoke out earlier this month, further distinguishing their interests from those of Big Business.

Wednesday, in his post “Has the Budget Crisis Du Jour Got You Down?” Bill Daley pointed out that if Congress were to close one tax loophole on offshore accounts, it could be enough to create a ‘job stimulus’ program the country has not seen since the beginning of the Great Recession. Read more

Daley’s View: A Trillion Here, A Trillion There

…And Pretty Soon it Adds Up to UnemploymentBill

 

Well the new jobs numbers are out this Friday and the results are a paltry 88,000 new jobs in March. Private employment provided a mere 95,000 new jobs while federal cuts costing 14,000 jobs. There were offsets by slight increases in state employment, but overall government employment fell a total of 7000 jobs.

What could possibly be causing this?

Economists that actually study the economy rather than those who craft  right wing talking points have been telling us that now is the worst possible time to be reducing government spending. But the entire Federal leadership has been in the spell of an austerity frenzy nonetheless. Remember the “Super Committee” and the caps.? These policies will reduce Federal spending $1.5 Trillion by 2020.

This year, stumped for a better idea, Congress began an automatic “sequester” that cuts another $1.2 Trillion starting March 1st. Jobless claims jumped immediately in March.

And there is more to come. Over time, the “sequester” will pull 750,000 jobs out of the economy according to the Congressional Budget Office estimates.

When the new jobs numbers were announced the conservative pundits were quick to pounce: “Our plan to keep cutting jobs is good for the economy. The real culprit here is the Affordable Care Act.” Yep, the ACA is to blame, so we have to repeal it – thereby pulling another pile of jobs out of the economy.

Some days I want to go episodic and stand on a street corner yelling “ARE YOU CRAZY?” (Only a few of my neighbors would notice and are unlikely to be surprised. So I’ll skip it.)

But I will beg progressive advocates to continue to ask our political leadership a simple question: “Why not reduce the deficits by growing the economy?” Why not start with President Obama’s 2013 Budget?

 

To the President’s credit, his recently released budget does include a $350 billion jobs program and other investments in education, job training, infrastructure, and research. But over time it cuts another trillion plus out of the public funding for many important things including Social Security, Medicare and other domestic spending. Overall there are some $900 billion in cuts. The President’s budget also increases taxes by $600 billion.

Compare this budget to what is being proposed in the U.S. House. This budget cuts nearly $6 trillion out of spending and also lowers taxes. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that 66% of the cuts will affect people with low or moderate incomes.

These are the parameters for the recovery of jobs in the economy – cut either another trillion or cut another six trillion. How will either of these approaches lead to a thriving economy and jobs for the unemployed?

Every time they get anything done they do more harm. To raise the debt lid they cut a trillion. To avoid the fiscal cliff they cut another trillion. Then they sequestered. Now we are looking at a “grand bargain,” another debt lid crisis, tax reform…

 

whitehouse.gov/issues/sequester/interactive-map

2012 Job Gap Report

2012-Job-Gap-Report_National_FINAL-1“Broken Bootstraps: Falling Behind on Full-Time Work,” is the 14th annual installment of a joint study by Alliance for a Just Society and its affiliates in 7 states.

 

Unemployment rates in all states are still high. A modest $9.00/hr. minimum wage has been mentioned at the federal level. Even that income would leave most low-wage workers needing to utilize public assistance programs. Read more

Who Pays: Millionaires or The Rest of Us?

Over the last three decades the average family income has stagnated while the top 2% has seen their portion of the national income quadruple– at the expense of working families. This week, Alliance affiliates across the country mobilized in a series of actions to emphasize the message that was sent in last week’s election. Read more