Despite our best efforts, Sen. Wyden (D-OR) signed on to a fast-track bill for upcoming "free" trade votes that might be marginally better than what Republicans wanted, but still allows our Democratic President to ram bad "free" trade deals down our throats without amendments and with dangerously little debate. Bipartisanship! Rarely have I witnessed a debate where a position's supporters so routinely use arguments that actually support the opposite position. They say we have to have a "seat at the table" and "get the best offers from other countries" -- so we have to fast-track bad trade deals? Those are arguments that demand more care and more scrutiny from Congress, not less. The fast-track vote might happen literally any minute, and I've got five-count-'em-five action alerts arguing against fast-tracking "free" trade agreements, from Public Citizen, Food and Water Watch, the Sierra Club, Friend of the Earth, and Sum of Us. The first four tools are email tools, the last is a phone tool; I recommend using both today.
Meanwhile, President Obama and Treasury Secretary Lew can close six big corporate tax loopholes on their own, without first asking for permission from Great and Awesome American Super-President Mitch McConnell. These loopholes allow corporations to do absurd things, like "loan" offshore profits to themselves, manipulate mergers to make themselves into "foreign" corporations, and characterize their earnings to different governments in different ways, all to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Certainly corporations benefit as much from roads, police, and firefighters as the rest of us do -- seriously, how do their employees get to work, by trans-mat? Closing these six loopholes would save us about $10 billion annually, which may not seem like much in the context of a $4 trillion budget, but we could do a lot of good with $10 billion -- we could restore food stamp cuts for working families who need it, to give just one example. So Sign for Good helps you tell the President to close corporate tax loopholes.
Finally, H.R. 297/S. 174, the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, has been re-introduced in this Congress, and this bill would save us about $22 billion annually in evaded taxes, which is as it should be -- the President shouldn't be able to do more about tax loopholes than Congress, and that's true even if you prefer the President to Congress, which all but America's most rage-addled citizens do. The bill would help stop corporate "inversions," where corporations merge with much smaller foreign corporations and pretend they're no longer American corporations; the most famous recent "inversion" is, of course, Burger King's complicated merger with the Canadian donut-and-coffee shop Tim Hortons, which magically made Burger King a "Canadian" corporation although Burger King didn't move any of its 8,000-plus fast-food joints north of the border. If your Congressperson opposes this bill, it would not be unreasonable to call them objectively pro-tax evasion. Hence Public Citizen helps you tell Congress to close corporate tax loopholes by passing the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act.