Stop Subsidizing Obesity

HOW TAX DOLLARS BECOME TWINKIES—Since 1995, $17 billion in subsidies for big agribusiness have gone to common junk food ingredients including high-fructose corn syrup.

PUT JUNK FOOD SUBSIDIES ON A DIET

Almost anything you can think of would be a better use of our tax dollars than subsidizing the ingredients in junk food, but every year more than a billion taxpayer dollars do just that. Huge, profitable corporations like Cargill and Monsanto have pocketed $17 billion in the last 15 years and turned subsidized crops into junk food ingredients — including high-fructose corn syrup.

These taxpayer giveaways are all the more absurd at a time when 1 in 3 kids is overweight or obese, and obesity-related diseases like diabetes are turning into an epidemic.

Many of these wasteful subsidies are set to expire this year, but industry lobbyists are urging Congress to keep them. In 2008 alone, big agribusinesses spent $200 million on lobbying and campaign contributions.

No one in Congress wants to be seen standing up for taxpayer giveaways to junk food. Cutting wasteful spending while attacking childhood obesity could be the perfect storm we need to push past the junk food industry.

Obesity Quick Facts:

    • Diets high in saturated fats impair learning and memory.
    • Once an adult problem, diabetes associated with obesity is growing among children.
    • One in three school-age children is overweight or obese.
    • The rate of childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years.

Issue updates

News Release | CoPIRG | Tax

Key Committee Approves Bill to Close Offshore Tax Haven Loophole

The Colorado House Finance Committee approved a bill that would close a tax loophole that allows large multinational corporations to avoid paying their share in taxes. The bill, HB15-1346, sponsored by State Representatives Brittany Pettersen and Mike Foote, would close the so-called “water’s edge loophole” that some companies use to dodge their Colorado tax bill leaving average Colorado families and small businesses to pick up the tab.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CoPIRG | Tax

Colorado Small Businesses Foot $3,165 Bill from Offshore Tax Dodging

As Tax Day approaches, the CoPIRG Foundation released a new study highlighting that small businesses end up picking up the tab for offshore tax loopholes used by many large multinational corporations. The study revealed that the average Colorado small business owner would have to pay an extra $3,165 in taxes to make up for the money lost in 2014 due to offshore tax haven abuse by large multinational corporations. State Representatives Brittany Pettersen and Mike Foote and other advocates joined CoPIRG to highlight a new bill that aims to close a loophole in Colorado that costs the state millions.  

> Keep Reading
News Release | CoPIRG | Tax

Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average Colorado Taxpayer $1,361

As hardworking Americans file their taxes today, it’s a good time to be reminded of how ordinary taxpayers pick up the tab for the loopholes in our tax laws. CoPIRG  released a new study which revealed that the average Colorado taxpayer in 2013 would have to shoulder an extra $1,361 in taxes to make up for the revenue lost due to the use of offshore tax havens by corporations and wealthy individuals.

> Keep Reading
Report | CoPIRG | Tax

Picking Up the Tab 2014

Every year, corporations and wealthy individuals use complicated gimmicks to shift U.S. earnings to subsidiaries in offshore tax havens – countries with minimal or no taxes – in order to reduce their state and federal income tax liability by billions of dollars. This report looks at the cost of this abuse to taxpayers and small businesses.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Budget

Colorado Takes Big Jump in Transparency of Government Spending

Colorado took a big jump forward in the transparency of its government spending according to Following the Money 2014: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data, the fifth annual report of its kind by the CoPIRG Foundation. After receiving a “D+” in 2013 and placing in the bottom ten states, Colorado jumped to a “B” and placed in the top 20 by implementing improvements like making over 19,000 public subsidies totaling $500 million accessible online.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Media Hit | Tax

Farmers Say New Farm Bill is a Waste of Taxpayer Money

Palisade farmer, Scott Washkowiak, is upset with the U.S. House of Representatives' decision to pass the Farm Bill after a new study by Colorado Public Interest Research Group said one aspect of the bill is no good.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Tax

New Report Shows "Wasteful Handouts" in Farm Bill

The U.S. House recently passed its version of the Farm Bill, that is expected to provide funding to agriculture industries across the country. But some local farmers and the Colorado Public Interest Research Group, a non-profit organization that works on a variety of consumer and public interest issues, are disappointed.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Tax

Some Local Farmers Up in Arms About New Bill

After congress passed a controversial farm bill, some local farmers and colorado activist groups are sounding off.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Tax

Farm Bill Dysfunction

Last week U.S. Republican representatives voted to exclude the nation’s revamped food stamps program from the House version of the 2013 farm bill. This week, the Colorado Public Interest Research Group released a report on what it calls the farm bill’s wasteful agricultural-subsidy spending, joining with farmers to ask Congress to make real reforms before passing the vital five-year legislation.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Tax

Farm Bill Should End Subsidies for Agribusiness Giants

How serious are Colorado's congressmen about cutting wasteful spending? The farm bill vote in the U.S. House on July 11 provided some answers.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Budget, Tax

SUBSIDIZING BAD BEHAVIOR

BP’s recent $4.5 billion legal settlement with the Justice Department for its misdeeds in the Gulf oil spill was historic for being the largest ever criminal settlement. But it was historic for another reason as well—none of it is allowed to be tax deductible. Unfortunately, too many settlements for wrongdoing end up as tax deductions.

> Keep Reading
Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Budget, Tax

WHAT AMERICA COULD DO WITH $150 BILLION LOST TO OFFSHORE TAX HAVENS

Many corporations and wealthy individuals use offshore tax havens—countries with minimal or no taxes—to avoid paying $150 billion in U.S. taxes each year. By shielding their income from U.S. taxes, corporations and wealthy individuals shift the tax burden to ordinary Americans, who must pick up the tab in the form of cuts to public services, more debt, or higher taxes. The $150 billion lost annually to offshore tax havens is a lot of money, especially at a time of difficult budget choices. To put this sum in perspective, we present 16 potential ways that income could be used.

> Keep Reading
Report | CoPIRG | Tax

Apples to Twinkies 2012

At a time when America is facing an obesity epidemic, crushing debt and a weak economy, billions of taxpayer dollars are subsidizing junk food ingredients.

> Keep Reading
Report | CoPIRG | Tax

Picking Up the Tab

Some U.S.-based multinational firms or individuals avoid paying U.S. taxes by transferring their earnings to tax haven countries with minimal or no taxes. These tax haven users benefit from their access to America’s markets, workforce, infrastructure and security; but they pay little or nothing for it—violating the basic fairness of the tax system and forcing other taxpayers to pick up the tab.

> Keep Reading
Report | CoPIRG | Tax

Following the Money 2012

Colorado received a “C-” when it comes to government spending transparency, according to Following the Money 2012: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data, the third annual report of its kind by the Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG). 

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed

You Can Help

We have a chance to cut billions in junk food subsidies this year. Your support will help us do the research, advocacy and grassroots organizing to convince our elected officials to act.

consumer alerts

Join our network and stay up to date on our campaigns, get important consumer updates and take action on critical issues.
Optional Member Code