OSPIRG Latest Blog Posts

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.

Another incisive post from Tony Dutzik of the Frontier Group on why declining driving numbers are real, despite what some transit opponents claim.

 

HR Block has teamed up with Wal Mart to offer in store free tax prep, however it is “free” for clients that filed a 1040 EZ, just 16% of their clients. This does not include taxpayers with kids, any requesting the earned income tax credit or any non standard deductions. 

Consumers and small businesses may get better healthcare for lower costs if the Oregon Healthcare Exchange meets its potential.

Health insurance premiums are going up again. The latest request for a rate hike came from Regence for their small group plans. The average increase requested over the next year will be 8%, but some businesses will see increases in excess of 15%. At OSPIRG, we’re concerned that Regence has not adequately justified this increase request.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Kudos to President Obama for standing up for consumers this week by making a recess appointment of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  The President’s action means that the CFPB now has all its powers to protect the public from unfair financial practices, whether by banks or other financial firms, such as payday lenders and credit bureaus.