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Motivations Behind Assault on Microsoft
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Motivations Behind Assault on Microsoft

BY Paul Beckner

A FEDERAL APPELLATE COURT'S reversal of the Microsoft breakup is great news for consumers. As Microsoft has argued all along, the court, in effect, agreed that the company had created a competitive product in a competitive market where new innovations were consistently introduced to millions of software users at little to no cost.

07/03/2001
Uninvited Guests In the Way
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Uninvited Guests In the Way

BY Paul Beckner

A federal appellate court's reversal of the Microsoft breakup is great news for consumers. As Microsoft has argued all along, the court, in effect, agreed that the company had created a competitive product in a competitive market where new innovations were consistently introduced to millions of software users at little to no cost.

07/03/2001
WA CSE Telecommunications Tour Continues Throughout the State Educating Grassroots Activists
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Press Release

WA CSE Telecommunications Tour Continues Throughout the State Educating Grassroots Activists

Washington - Washington Citizens for a Sound Economy's (WA CSE) telecommunications tour continues throughout the state educating grassroots citizens of the benefits of telecommunications competition.

07/02/2001
Your Money
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Your Money

BY Kathy M. Kristof

The big tax cut passed by Congress last month will put a few extra dollars in the pockets of most taxpayers, but it's a bust for anyone who wants to do long-term financial planning. The reason: Tax deductions and credits you count on today could be gone tomorrow. Within 10 years, so-called sunset provisions could wipe away every one of the 440 changes that the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 makes to the already voluminous tax code.

07/01/2001
CSE Praises Reversal of Microsoft Decision
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Press Release

CSE Praises Reversal of Microsoft Decision

Today, June 28, the Federal Court of Appeals ruled that Judge Jackson’s order for Microsoft to be broken up be vacated and remanded to a lower court. Citizens for a Sound Economy, a Washington, D.C.-based grassroots organization with nearly 300,000 members, heralded the Federal Court of Appeals’ decision as a win for consumers. Erick Gustafson, director of Citizens for a Sound Economy’s Center for Consumer Choice issued the following statement regarding the Appeals Court’s ruling:

06/28/2001
Consumer Alliance Urges Congress to Support Affordable Homes, Kill Proposed Hidden Lumber Taxes
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Consumer Alliance Urges Congress to Support Affordable Homes, Kill Proposed Hidden Lumber Taxes

A consumer alliance representing 95 percent of all of the lumber use and consumption in the U.S., today appealed to members of Congress to block support for a house bill introduced recently that would force a hidden tax on all softwood lumber purchased in the U.S. that comes from Canada. The bill, H. R. 2181, would impose mandatory trade restraints in the form of quotas and tariff surcharges on all shipments of lumber from Canada into the U.S., similar to the Softwood Lumber Agreement that expired March 31. This amounts to an additional consumer tax on all softwood lumber used in home construction or remodeling, according to the American Consumers for Affordable Homes (ACAH), in a letter to all members of the House of Representatives. The alliance said that this proposed protectionist legislation only continues to hurt consumers, and will further reduce the level of affordable homes across America. "The U.S. producers want to protect their markets and keep prices of softwood lumber artificially high by having the government impose a hidden tax on every purchase of lumber made in the U.S.," said Susan Petniunas, spokesperson for the ACAH, an alliance of 15 leading consumer and lumber user member organizations. "This proposed legislation is the most recent attack by lumber producers on consumers. After the expiration of the five-year quota agreement limiting softwood imports from Canada, the U.S. producers filed countervailing duty and antidumping petitions that would impose a tax of up to 78 percent on all softwood lumber imported into the U.S. "Unfortunately, those proposed duties would add up to $4,000 to the cost of a new home, and, according to calculations used by the U.S. Census Bureau, would knock 1.2 million families out of the housing market -- they could not qualify for mortgages," Petniunas said. "This would dramatically impact first time homebuyers and buyers of manufactured housing, and be counter to the objective of building more affordable housing across our country." H.R. 2181 was introduced by representatives, most of whom come from lumber producing states. "This parochial, protectionist viewpoint does not take into consideration that the jobs in homebuilding, selling and working with lumber, and downstream users of lumber such as window and bed frame manufacturers, outnumber the jobs in producing lumber in the U.S. by 25 to 1," Petniunas said. "It is time that the consumer gets represented, and that affordable housing becomes a priority." Petniunas also pointed out that "a stick is not a stick. Southern Yellow Pine produced in the south is not a substitute in housing construction for Canadian Spruce Pine Fir. These two species are not interchangeable. They do not compete. Both have their own uses in home construction, and homebuyers and remodelers should not be penalized by artificial trade barriers such as those proposed in H.R. 2181." She also said that trying to roll back imports to levels at the end of 1995, as proposed in the bill, "fails to take into consideration the growth in U.S. demand for softwood lumber, the growth in the housing market where most of it is used, and the reduction in availability of such lumber in the U.S." The ACAH is an alliance of 15-organizations, representing approximately 95 percent of softwood lumber use in the U.S. ACAH members include CHEP USA, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Consumers for World Trade, Free Trade Lumber Council, The Home Depot, International Mass Retail Association, International Sleep Products Association, Leggett & Platt Inc., Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, Manufactured Housing Institute, National Association of Home Builders, National Black Chamber of Commerce, National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association, National Retail Federation, and the United States Hispanic Contractors Association.

06/28/2001
Jeffords' Pensions Adviser Jumps to House
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Jeffords' Pensions Adviser Jumps to House

BY Jennifer Yachnin

While a number of Sen. Jim Jeffords' (I) staff have remained in the Vermonter's office following his recent party switch, one aide has jumped to the House. Kathleen Quint Black, who teamed up with Jeffords in March 2000 and served as pension policy adviser to the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which Jeffords formerly chaired, moved to Rep. Sam Johnson's (R-Texas) office in June.

06/28/2001
CSE Praises Reversal Of Microsoft Decision
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CSE Praises Reversal Of Microsoft Decision

Today, June 28, the Federal Court of Appeals ruled that Judge Jackson's order for Microsoft to be broken up be vacated and remanded to a lower court. Citizens for a Sound Economy, a Washington, D.C.-based grassroots organization with nearly 300,000 members, heralded the Federal Court of Appeals' decision as a win for consumers. Erick Gustafson, director of Citizens for a Sound Economy's Center for Consumer Choice issued the following statement regarding the Appeals Court's ruling:

06/28/2001
HMO Bill Endures First Test in Senate
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HMO Bill Endures First Test in Senate

BY Maria Recio, Jackie Koszczuk

WASHINGTON - The patients' bill of rights survived its first test in the Senate on Tuesday, despite opposition from conservative Republicans, managed care companies, business groups and President Bush. Texas emerged center stage in the debate as a Democrat-led effort defeated a key amendment by Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, that would have exempted employers from lawsuits.

06/27/2001
Tax Harmonization American-Style
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Press Release

Tax Harmonization American-Style

Copley News Service, 6/26/2001 There's an extraordinary plot afoot in the nation's capital to stifle tax competition among states, reverse Supreme Court precedent, circumvent constitutional limitations on states' taxing authority and seriously undermine federalism.

06/26/2001

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