It Ain't Fair

Corporate America is shutting average Americans' voices out, while they help themselves to taxpayer dollars. The economic playing field is tilted against the middle class — and we have the power to change that.

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The Tug of War

Special Interest groups and big companies spent $3.22 billion in 2015 lobbying our elected officials, and have spent at least $ 3 billion each year since 2008. That money is spent to influence laws, rules, and policies that benefit themselves. Most of that money is not tax deductible for the companies. Therefore, they find it to be a good investment, since businesses don’t spend money that doesn’t yield a reasonable return.

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More Pollution is Good, *cough, cough*

In 1997 the EPA moved to reduce surface ozone, a form of air pollution caused, in part, by emissions from oil refineries. Susan Dudley, an economist who became a top official at the Mercatus Center, came up with a novel criticism of the proposed rule. The EPA, she argued, had not taken into account that by blocking the sun, smog cut down on cases of skin cancer.

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Dark Store Theory

The tax break big box stores use to avoid funding your cities schools, police, and fire departments. This tax avoidance gimmick allows big box stores to lower their property taxes and push it on to homeowners. Some of the companies using this gimmick are Target, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Lowes, Menards, CVS, and Kohls, really any big superstore; some car dealers are even trying to take advantage of the loophole.

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Abandoned Mines, No Royalties, Black Lung Disease Costs Taxpayers Billions

Due to under-payments and bankruptcies, the Black Lung Fund has borrowed around $4 billion from the U.S. Treasury. Three coal companies who recently filed bankruptcy posted $27.4 million of collateral and were able to push $865 million of liabilities on to the government, making it a taxpayer expense.