OSPIRG Latest Blog Posts

Two interesting (and at face value, good) announcements today from the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Just in time for Tax Day, OSPIRG released another fine piece of work from our national Budget and Taxes guru Phineas Baxendall.  The report-Picking up the Tab: Average Citizens and Small Businesses Pay the Price for Offshore Tax Havens-examines the practice of hiding legitimate U.S. profits and income in offshore tax havens. While this has mostly been discussed as a federal matter, the topic has a big impact on Oregon taxpayers, small businesses and state revenue.

New report by OSPIRG Foundation and Frontier Group that documents the nationwide decline in driving—and finds that young people are leading the trend. The report explores the many factors that have led to the decrease in driving among the young. Bottom line: if these trends are structural, as the data suggests, then transportation planners will need to overhaul their assumptions about whether the nation needs (or can afford) major highway expansions.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

I've got a new column at Huffington Post, "50 Years Ago This Week, JFK Ushered in Modern Consumer Protection Era." I discuss President Kennedy's visionary "Special Message to the Congress on Protecting the Consumer Interest" announced on March 15, 1962. He declared that consumers have rights and government should protect them. Read the full column after the jump.

The much anticipated corporate tax reform framework released last week by President Obama hit all the right notes but lacked the details to know if can fully realize it’s potential.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Reporters are calling about BofA's proposed new checking account fees, "Ed, what does it mean?" Meanwhile the CFPB says checking accounts can be "complex and confusing" and announced it is now  ready and waiting for your checking account complaints. Find out more.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

White House urges privacy rights, industry promises "Do Not Track Sometimes" while states investigate Google

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today, CFPB to announce overdraft fee investigation, unveil "penalty box" disclosure, possibly end $39 lattes.

Tony Dutzik from the Frontier Group's latest post about Maine's Downeaster train. Interesting similarities between Maine's situation and Oregon's.