The Economic Policy Classification Committee, which operates within the Office of Management and Budget, plans to develop a North American Product Classification System. I know, I know, you're already falling into REM sleep reading that, but dig this: the EPCC's proposal would call corporations that have offshored American jobs as "factoryless goods manufacturers." You didn't even know "factoryless" was a word, did you? And what would such a classification do? It would magically wipe out the U.S. trade deficit, at least on paper -- it wouldn't count, for example, Apple's iPhones as "imports" anymore, even though Chinese workers assemble them, and it would count them as "exports" if they were shipped from China to another country! Even though all Apple did was send the parts to China to be put together! Look, exports are go from here to somewhere else; imports go from somewhere else to here. This is not rocket science -- but making it into rocket science will allow our government to hide real trade deficits as it pursues further job-killing "free" trade agreements. So Public Citizen helps you tell the EPCC to reject any hifalutin proposals that make our trade balance look better than it actually is.
Meanwhile, the EPA is one of those few government agencies that's done a decent job lately, but the House of Representatives aims to put a stop to that! H.R. 4012, the Secret Science Reform Act of 2012, would cripple the EPA's ability to issue rules and regulations that protect the public from the ill effects of air and water pollution. How? By preventing the EPA from issuing any rules or regulations until it publishes all the science it uses to justify rules or regulations. That sure does sound like transparency, but you may not know that the EPA would run into real-world legal problems in trying to release "all" of the science -- the EPA could not release research into people's health, for example, since that would mean releasing a lot of private information pertaining to particular individuals. Furthermore, the bill specifically prohibits the EPA from action on or releasing any information given to them confidentially by corporations -- unless, of course, they need permits from the EPA; then, of course, it's fine. Pretty clever, eh? Not as long as we can do something about it! I think this bill merits a phone call to your House Reps. They'll never see it coming.
Finally, it seems like years that the Securities and Exchange Commission has been mulling whether to force publicly-held corporations to disclose their political contributions to their shareholders. Oh, wait: it has been years. I doubt, actually, there's been a whole lot of mulling going on. But protecting shareholders is the SEC's job, and publicly-held corporations -- many of which, as you might imagine, shell out more in campaign contributions than they do in taxes -- aren't spending their own money, they're spending their shareholders' money, and Jesus Mary and Joseph aren't Republicans always telling us that corporations shouldn't be accountable to anyone but shareholders? And don't think you're not a shareholder, either. Do you have a pension plan, or a 401(k)? Then chances are you're a shareholder in one of these corporations that spends a lot of money trying to pass laws that hurt people and redistribute wealth upward from workers to CEOs, but doesn't spend a whole lot of money hiring people to get this economy going again. Hence the National People's Action Campaign helps you tell the SEC to protect shareholders, and America, by forcing publicly-held corporations to disclose their campaign spending.