As you know, Tuesday was tax day, and in that spirit corporations have been lobbying Congress to renew two corporate tax loopholes -- the "active financing exception" and the "CFC look-through rule" -- that expired on January 1. Citizens for Tax Justice explains how they work here. Long story short: they make it easier for corporations to move money overseas, so we can't tax them -- to the tune of around $8 billion annually. The backers of these loopholes claim that our corporations need them to compete with nations that don't tax their corporations as hard, but that's bunkum for at least two reasons: one, our corporate tax code is already so riddled with holes that other countries aren't much competition, and two, squealing about competition in this manner essentially allows the nation that taxes everyone the lightest to hold the rest of the world hostage. Taxes pay for things, after all -- and if corporations won't pay for roads and bridges and schools and unemployment insurance, then small businesses and actual people will have to pay more. PennPIRG helps you tell Congress not to bring back the corporate loopholes that make it easier for corporations to shift income overseas.
Meanwhile, the USDA does not allow genetically-modified ingredients or irradiated ingredients in organic food -- but it does allow ingredients altered by mutagenesis in food earning the USDA organic label. No use arguing that all evolutionary change occurs through mutagenesis -- if you make food by shooting X-rays at a plant and seeing what mutations occur, as with mutagenesis, then your food is not organic. And no use arguing that we can't feed the world without finding new foods with mutagenesis. We don't have problems feeding the world because we can't create thirty-foot carrots, but because our society doesn't grow food to be eaten -- it grows food to be sold. And that thirty-foot carrot still wouldn't be organic. And don't folks who choose to eat organic food have the right to know their food actually is organic? The Organic Consumers Association helps you tell the USDA to reject mutagenesis as an acceptable practice in growing organic food. I'd lay money that few (if any) small organic farmers are experimenting with their products like this -- but that's all the more reason to close a loophole that helps big ag corporations put small farmers out of business.