Blog

With less than a month left to “Tax Day”, that special time of year when taxes are due, CALPIRG releases a new Questions & Answer guide to paying taxes.

In the 175 days that the U.S. House of Representatives was in session during 2011, it passed more than 190 anti-regulatory bills. Congress put profits over public safety and they are still at it.

 | 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 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its list of top consumer complaints received by the agency in 2011. Unsurprisingly, identity theft complaints topped the list.

As web giants amass more and more information about consumers for behavioral targeting and even "social discrimination" -- which can include differential pricing for the same product or the use of web tracking data and falsely-flagged websites to promote certain brandname drug use -- the White House has called for a privacy bill of rights. Companies and powerful industry lobbies seeking to keep those rights weak simultaneously rolled out their own "Do Not Track Us Sometimes" button.

At a news conference in NYC today, Director Richard Cordray of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will announce a major investigation of bank overdraft fee practices and propose a model "penalty box" disclosure to appear on bank statements. The investigation could end the $39 latte-- $4 bucks for the coffee, $35 for the debit card overdraft fee.

An audit by San Francisco county officials of about 400 recent foreclosures there determined that almost all involved either legal violations or suspicious documentation.

CALPIRG urges CPSC to remove Bumbo International’s Baby Seat from the market and to allow the manufacturer to address the serious safety concerns in the future.  

Testimony of Lucas Zucker, UC Berkeley CALPIRG student at the California State Legislative Joint Committee Oversight Hearing

Affordability of College Textbooks: Factors for Rising Costs and Strategies to Control Costs for Students

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

 | by
Emily Rusch
Executive Director

Statement of U.S. PIRG Tax and Budget Associate Dan Smith on the U.S. House transportation reauthorization bill.