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U.S PIRG

We Could Save Students a Billion Dollars on Textbooks

Ethan Senack | Posted 03.02.2015 | College
Ethan Senack

We need faculty to make the switch and drop their traditional textbook for an open textbook. It's not hard, but it's not easy, and institutions can make a huge impact by providing training and resources for interested faculty to make the switch.

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea

Jaimie Woo | Posted 02.26.2015 | Politics
Jaimie Woo

A strangely popular proposal would give companies a temporary tax holiday, letting corporations "repatriate" their money at an extremely low tax rate, thereby encouraging more corporate tax dodging in the future. You'd think that common sense and strong opposition would be enough to kill a bad policy. Not in Washington, D.C., apparently.

Chicago Voters Can Strike Blow Against Big Money in Politics

David Orr | Posted 02.20.2015 | Chicago
David Orr

Our democracy is built on the core principle of a government of the people, by the people and for the people, where all of us get an equal say over who gets elected and the government decisions that affect our lives.

Love the Hands that Feed You. 6 Tips for a More Sustainable Valentine's Day.

Danielle Nierenberg | Posted 02.17.2015 | Green
Danielle Nierenberg

This Valentine's Day, before planning your romantic dinner or buying roses and chocolate, think about how your choices will affect the hands that feed you.

The Country Has Spoken

Jaimie Woo | Posted 02.07.2015 | Politics
Jaimie Woo

Exit polling data from Election Day showed clear majorities in against growing corporate influence on the political process and in favor of greater corporate accountability. The message is clear: inversions must stop, corporate tax avoidance must end, and special corporate loopholes must close.

Recent Inversion Wave Brings on Slew of Outrage -- What's Next?

Jaimie Woo | Posted 11.22.2014 | Politics
Jaimie Woo

By buying out a foreign company and using it as a tax haven, companies that "invert" don't move abroad in any real sense, and continue to benefit from America's infrastructure, education system, security and large consumer market.

4 Back-to-School Myths About College Textbooks

Ethan Senack | Posted 10.28.2014 | College
Ethan Senack

As students and families begin the school year, let's take a second to dispel some myths about college textbooks. Before we debunk some myths around ...

Where Is the Netflix for College Textbooks?

Dean Florez | Posted 04.28.2014 | Los Angeles
Dean Florez

Where is the technology fix or app for skyrocketing textbooks? Where are the barbarians at the gate? Those Silicon Valley warriors that took down Motown, turned my neighborhood Borders into a laundromat, eliminated Kodak AND my camera?

In Support of Senator Warren and Student Loan Refinancing

Ethan Senack | Posted 04.14.2014 | College
Ethan Senack

We know students and families across generations are struggling with their debt. High debt can also have serious impact on the economy: causing a generation of Americans to hold off starting a family, buying a house, or even saving for retirement.

Our Taxpayer Dollars: Going to Waste and Wealthy Corporations

Jaimie Woo | Posted 04.08.2014 | Politics
Jaimie Woo

Let's help our budget crises by continuing billion-dollar handouts to huge, profitable agribusinesses. Apparently, that's what Congress thinks.

Student Loans Got You Down? 5 Tips to Make Them More Affordable

Ethan Senack | Posted 03.10.2014 | College
Ethan Senack

Dealing with students loans can be stressful -- even overwhelming. Here are a few tips to minimizing how much you pay and keeping your debt manageable.

Long Time Coming: Shining a Light on the Nation's Most Egregious Corporate Subsidy

Francisco Enriquez | Posted 03.10.2014 | Politics
Francisco Enriquez

Undeserved subsidies for wrongdoing occur because the law that prohibits companies from deducting fines or penalties as a tax write-off does not apply to companies that resolve charges through out of court settlements, unless agencies specifically forbid the write-offs as part of the settlement agreement.

Unlikely Allies Find Common Ground -- Can Congress?

Jaimie Woo | Posted 02.04.2014 | Politics
Jaimie Woo

The American public has seen it all -- a government shutdown for the first time in 18 years, and what seems like the strongest partisan gridlock in history. Well, time is almost up again.

Are These Kids' Toys Dangerous?

AP | JENNIFER C. KERR | Posted 11.27.2013 | Parents

WASHINGTON (AP) — Toy recalls for excessive lead and other hazards are down this year, but consumer advocates warn that potential dangers to childre...

We Lost Our House, the Economy Crashed, and You Made a Fortune. How Much Do We Owe You?

Francisco Enriquez | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Francisco Enriquez

The upcoming JPMorgan Chase settlement is expected to be the largest corporate settlement in Justice Department history. Unless the Justice Department prevents it, JPMorgan could heap billions of dollars right back onto the shoulders of taxpayers.

Government must shut down corporate tax havens

Jaimie Woo | Posted 11.06.2013 | Politics
Jaimie Woo

Government shutdown? Check. Budget crises and partisan gridlock? Check. Most of America's biggest corporations avoiding their taxes, thereby contr...

Tax Breaks for Corporate Wrongdoing, Part 1: The FTC

Francisco Enriquez | Posted 12.29.2013 | Politics
Francisco Enriquez

Every year, the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, negotiates hundreds of millions of dollars in deals with corporations to settle allegations of criminal wrongdoing. However, the FTC has ended up allowing bad actors to claim massive tax deductions for their wrongdoing.

Tyler Kingkade

Some People With Student Debt Are Actually Getting Some Help

HuffingtonPost.com | Tyler Kingkade | Posted 10.29.2013 | College

Hundreds of college graduates facing hurdles repaying their private student loans are getting out of trouble with help from the Consumer Financial Pro...

Watchdogging Private Student Loan Companies

Ethan Senack | Posted 01.23.2014 | College
Ethan Senack

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's public complaints database levels the playing field for private student loan borrowers -- giving aggrieved private student borrowers true negotiating strength in a financial marketplace that is tilted toward banks.

Student Loan Forgiveness: Available for Many, Used by Few

Ethan Senack | Posted 01.23.2014 | College
Ethan Senack

Public service jobs are critical for our nation's future -- from teaching our kids to keeping our communities safe -- and many college grads are eager to put their new skills to work in these kinds of careers. But crushing levels of debt often make it too hard.

Protect Student Consumers on Campus

Ethan Senack | Posted 01.23.2014 | College
Ethan Senack

In recent years, we've seen a major spike in deals that allow financial service providers to disburse federal financial aid to students through products like debit cards. These deals, which have raised serious concerns from consumer advocates, were shown to have significant risks for students.

The $4 Billion Question: Do We Value JPMorgan More Than Consumer Protection?

Francisco Enriquez | Posted 01.23.2014 | Business
Francisco Enriquez

Is $4 billion in taxpayer money better spent subsidizing JPMorgan's alleged criminal activity or funding the federal agency charged with defending consumers from dangerous financial products?

On Student Loan Reform: The Fix That Isn't

Chris Lindstrom | Posted 07.18.2013 | College
Chris Lindstrom

The economy and our nation's future depend on having more Americans get a college education. We should be doing all we can to encourage students to go to college.

IRS Kerfuffle Shows Need for Disclosure Reforms

Blair Bowie | Posted 07.17.2013 | Politics
Blair Bowie

Equally, if not more, disturbing, is that other than the investigation of this handful of groups, the IRS hasn't actually taken the steps needed to ensure that sham non-profits are not abusing the tax code to flood our elections with secret money.

In the Public Interest: Senator McConnell Says We Shouldn't Have a CFPB At All

Ed Mierzwinski | Posted 06.22.2013 | Business
Ed Mierzwinski

What are some of the protections we wouldn't have at all, if Senator McConnell and Wall Street have their way and we didn't have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at all?