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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:30pm
Fri Nov 4, 2016

U.S. Multinational Companies Owe $700 Billion In Taxes On Offshore Profits, New Research Shows

American multinational corporations are apparently dodging nearly $700 billion in U.S. taxes they owe on profits stockpiled offshore, according to a new "corporate tax chartbook" from Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Last year, Fortune 500 companies had $2.4 trillion in untaxed offshore profits, on which they owe up to $695 billion in U.S. taxes, the analysis found.

"Corporations have not paid any U.S. taxes on these profits because our tax system lets them defer paying taxes until that income is brought back to the U.S. parent corporation (i.e., repatriated)," the report states.

This deferral process costs the U.S. Treasury roughly $126 billion annually or $1.3 trillion over a decade. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:24pm
Wed Oct 12, 2016

Duckworth Talks College Affordability At UIC, Responds To Kirk's New Attack Ad

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) was at the University of Illinois at Chicago Wednesday morning to talk with students about higher education and college affordability. 

"I can't think of something more important as an investment to our nation than making sure that we make college affordable, and that we get to a point where students are not starting off life with tremendous amounts of student loan debt," Duckworth told reporters after the town hall.

The event, sponsored by UIC student organizations and Young Invincibles Action, was supposed to be a candidate forum, but Kirk declined to participate, Duckworth said. 

The congresswoman used the event to detail college affordability proposals she is sponsoring in the U.S. House, namely the "In the Red Act." The proposal would adjust Pell Grants for inflation, allow borrowers to refinance student debt at lower interest rates and provide students with two years of tuition-free community college.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:29pm
Thu Aug 4, 2016

Experts: Financial Transaction Tax A 'Win-Win For U.S. Economy'

A financial transaction tax would help Wall Street work for Main Street, experts at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute (EPI) argue in a new report.

In light of the Democratic Party endorsing a financial transaction tax in its platform, EPI's report details how much revenue such a policy could raise, putting the figure anywhere between $110 billion to $403 billion annually.

The tax would impose a small levy on trades of stocks, bonds, derivatives and other financial transactions.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:33pm
Thu Jul 28, 2016

Report: U.S. Utility Companies 'Have Become Expert Tax Dodgers'

Profitable U.S. utility companies are not paying their "fair share" in taxes, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:35am
Fri Jul 22, 2016

Top CEOs Made Less In 2015, But They Still Earned 276 Times More Than Average Worker

CEOs at America's largest firms received an average of $15.5 million in compensation last year, meaning they earned 276 times more than the typical worker in 2015, new research shows.

The $15.5 million in average CEO compensation was down about 5 percent from 2014, when the figure was $16.3 million, and up 46.5 percent since the economic recovery began in 2009, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

"Most (83 percent) of the decline in CEO pay from 2014 to 2015 can be explained by the drop in the value of realized stock options in that period," EPI's report reads. "Therefore the decline in compensation does not reflect any structural change in how CEO compensation is set or changes in corporate governance. CEO compensation will likely resume its upward trajectory when the stock market resumes upward movement."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:57pm
Fri Apr 29, 2016

Duckworth, Warren Talk Retirement Security Policy At Chicago Campaign Event

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth at a Chicago campaign event Friday to talk retirement security with seniors and other supporters. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the discussion. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:31pm
Thu Mar 24, 2016

Ryan Renounces Previous 'Makers And Takers' Rhetoric As Progressives Rebuke GOP 'Austerity' Budget Plan

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI,1) expressed regret this week for his past comments against poor Americans, saying in a major speech Wednesday that he was wrong for calling people "makers and takers."

"There was a time that I would talk about a difference between 'makers' and 'takers' in our country, referring to people who accepted government benefits. But as I spent more time listening, really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized something. I realized that I was wrong," Ryan said during his speech about the state of American politics. "'Takers' wasn't how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, trying to take care of her family. Most people don't want to be dependent. And to label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong. I shouldn't castigate a large group of Americans just to make a point."

In a question and answer session after his speech, delivered before a group of House interns, Ryan added, "I was callous and I oversimplified and I castigated people with a broad brush. That's wrong. And there's a lot of that happening in America today. I myself have made that mistake."

Despite Ryan's noteworthy change in rhetoric, and his push this year to make combating poverty a top GOP priority, critics say his policies speak for themselves.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:17pm
Fri Mar 11, 2016

Foster Urges Action On Illinois 'Payer State Problem' As Budget Impasse Continues

With the state budget impasse now in its ninth month, and as social service providers and higher education institutions struggle to stay afloat financially as a result, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL,11) drew attention Friday to what he says is the "single largest driver of the financial stress" facing Illinois.

Foster spoke at a discussion in Aurora with state lawmakers and social service providers impacted by the budget stalemate, and raised awareness about the "problem" of Illinois being a payer state.

Illinois is considered to be a "payer" or "donor" state because residents pay more in federal taxes than the state receives in the form of federal funds. Consequentially, approximately $40 billion leaves Illinois annually through the federal government, according to Foster, who is proposing legislation in Congress to address the payer state issue. As of 2013, Illinoisans paid about $1,400 per person more in federal taxes and got back about $1,770 less in federal spending than the national average.

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