Congress wants to "deal" with the deficit? Well, here's an idea: don't cut Medicare just because Republicans want to and we all need to get along. Cut corporate tax loopholes -- as S. 2075, the Cut Unjustified Tax Loopholes Act, would do -- and raise another $150 billion a year, which comprises around one tenth of our current budget deficit. Stop Microsoft from shuffling off $4 million per day to Puerto Rico to avoid taxation. Stop Hewlett-Packard from hiding all its profits offshore and then "borrowing" from its offshore accounts. Stop ebay, Walmart, Oracle, and other big corporations from hiding more than 80% of their profits in filing cabinets overseas. CALPIRG helps you tell your Congressfolk to end corporate tax loopholes. Not as part of some "bargain" to reduce tax rates in a revenue-neutral scheme, either -- tell them to end the loopholes because it's the right thing to do.
Speaking of Congress, Common Cause helps you tell your Senators to reform the filibuster, as the Senate failed to do at the beginning of 2011. I'll be blunt: Republicans have taken a dump all over Senate procedure the last four years, and not even massive public outcry could prevent the 59-41 deaths of the DISCLOSE Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act. I don't advocate the end of the filibuster, as many very short-sighted folks have done -- have they forgotten the filibusters that saved the Estate Tax in 2005 and 2006? But it is well past time to make Republicans work a lot harder if they want to screw things up. If they want to filibuster, we should make them do a Strom Thurmond and not drink water for an entire day before talking for 48 hours straight, not just put their fingers up and go off to the theatre. You may want to add that to your message.
Meanwhile, it's not just Walmart workers who face hardship -- hundreds of fast food workers at the big chains in New York City walked off the job earlier this week, protesting their meager wages and benefits. Just as Walmart workers all too frequently find themselves on Medicaid just to get health care, McDonald's workers all too frequently find themselves living in homeless shelters -- $7.25 an hour won't get you an apartment anywhere in New York City, after all. And, just like Walmart heirs, fast food executives make money hand over fist while their workers suffer. Now, if you happen to think we should tolerate poverty for the many so the few can enjoy obscene wealth, consider that you're paying for what fast food CEOs won't pay for, because you're paying the taxes that become public assistance for their workers. Sum of Us helps you petition fast food CEOs to do right by their workers.
Finally, the big agribusiness corporations probably think we've forgotten all about this, but we haven't: the so-called "Monsanto rider" to the Agricultural Appropriations bill would force the Secretary of Agriculture to allow planting Frankencrops even if a federal court has halted the planting so an Environmental Impact Statement can be finished. In other words, Monsanto wants to contravene our Constitutional separation of powers so that it can make money whenever it likes on whatever it likes, consequences to America be damned. And these consequences certainly include Monsanto pollution of organic seed with its genetically-engineered seed, carried by the wind -- and the consequences also include Monsanto suing organic farmers for "intellectual property theft." Why should corporations be allowed to push people around like that? The Organic Consumers Association helps you oppose the "Monsanto rider."