Budget

Report | CALPIRG | Budget, Food, Tax

Toward Common Ground

Our nation faces unprecedented fiscal challenges, as the commitments we’ve made now and into the future far outpace our fiscal capacity. Congress, the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and citizens across the country must grapple with very difficult decisions about how we can put our fiscal house in order. It will be critical to reach out across party lines and across ideological persuasions to achieve common-sense reforms that can bring us closer to balance.

Report | CALPIRG | Budget

Caution: Red Light Cameras Ahead; The Risks of Privatizing Traffic Law Enforcement and How to Protect the Public

Local contracting for automated traffic enforcement systems may sometimes be a useful tool for keeping drivers and pedestrians safe. But when private firms and municipalities consider revenues first, and safety second, the public interest is threatened.

News Release | CALPIRG | Budget

Privatized Red-Light and Speed Cameras May Put Profit Ahead of Safety

A new research report released today outlines problems with the growing trend among cities to outsource traffic enforcement to red-light and speed camera vendors.

News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Budget

New Report Shows Potential Problems with Redevelopment Areas

A new research report released today outlines problems with the growing trend among cities to borrow against future growth and divert tax revenues as a way to attract economic development.

News Release | CALPIRG | Budget, Food

Agriculture Committees Should Cut Subsidies for Junk Food

Cuts to agricultural subsidies should target the most egregious giveaways to agribusiness giants. The Super Committee should first eliminate the Direct Payments program, which wastes taxpayer money in a budget crunch and subsidizes junk food additives in the face of an obesity epidemic. 

Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Budget, Democracy, Financial Reform, Tax

Tax Increment Financing: The need for transparency and accountibility in local economic development subsidies

Tax-increment financing (TIF) has been a widely used tool for municipalities seeking private investment. TIF allows cities and towns to borrow against an area’s future tax revenues in order to invest in immediate projects or encourage present development. When used properly, TIF can promote enduring growth and stronger communities for blighted neighborhoods; but TIF can also end up wasting taxpayer resources or channeling money to politically favored special interests.

Result | Budget

Keeping Public Libraries Public

To plug budget gaps, it seems that local governments will consider selling anything; some have even sold their public libraries. CALPIRG has stood up to and blocked a number of wrong-headed schemes to sell public assets to private companies — deals that all too often actually raise costs — including public libraries, state buildings and the privatization of red light camera enforcement.

Media Hit | Budget, Food

Los Angeles Times: Report: U.S. spending billions to subsidize junk food

The report, “Apples to Twinkies: Comparing Federal Subsidies of Fresh Produce and Junk Food” by CALPIRG and the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, studies the interesting question of whether the nation's problem with obesity is fueled by farm subsidies.

News Release | CALPIRG | Budget, Food

Taxpayer Subsidies for Junk Food Wasting Billions

Federal subsidies for commodity crops are also subsidizing junk food additives like high fructose corn syrup, enough to pay for 19 Twinkies per taxpayer per year, according to Apples to Twinkies, a new report by CALPIRG.  

Media Hit | Budget

CBS: California Group Seeks End To Subsidies For Junk Food Ingredients

Consumer advocate group CALPIRG is calling on the federal government to stop subsidizing farm crops used to make junk food ingredients.

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