Pfizer Deal Strengthens Case for Executive Order Requiring Transparency in Political Spending

Statement by Common Cause President Miles Rapoport

Posted on November 24, 2015

"The tax inversion provisions Allergan and Pfizer are about to exploit are well-known and could easily be eliminated. They exist because Pfizer and other large corporations, individually and through groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have used campaign contributions and an army of lobbyists to persuade a long line of Congresses and Presidents to riddle the federal tax code with loopholes.

"These special tax breaks for a few mean higher taxes for everyone else; they also contribute to a revenue gap that forces the federal government to forego needed investments and borrow more money to support vital public services.

"An important first step toward closing these loopholes is getting the money behind them into the open. We know that Pfizer alone – through its PAC – put $1 million into campaigns for Congress and party committees in 2014 and nearly $26 million into lobbying since 2013. We don’t know how many millions more large corporations have funneled into politics through the Chamber and other trade associations or the plethora of political non-profit groups that have sprung up thanks to the Supreme Court’s decisions equating money with free speech.

"President Obama could change that, immediately, by signing an executive order requiring companies that do business with the federal government to disclose their political spending. Close to 1 million Americans have petitioned him to act; there is no reasonable explanation for his failure to do so.”

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Money in Politics

Tags: Disclosure

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