Economic Policy Institute

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The Economic Policy Institute states on its website that it was "created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers."[1] Robert Reich and Ray Marshall were the EPI's co-founders; Reich was President Clintons secretary of labor, and Marshall was President Carter's secretary of labor.

Given this pedigree, the EPI is obviously a Democratic labor-union front lobby. However it appears to be linked to Leadership for the New Century (LNC) -- and the LNC appears to be the Republican subsidiary version.

The tobacco industry funded the EPI for may years through the Issues Management division of the Tobacco Institute. There are no outright admissions to how control was imposed however. The Public Relations division of the Tobacco Institute treated one of its video pieces at the top of its Monthly Highlights Report (which is a defacto claim of contracted service):

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) followed the successful release of its tax study last month with the airing of a short video piece on the Financial News Network for three days in November . Consultants report that the VNR released for EPI's press event was picked up in 9 of the 34 markets surveyed, including 5 of the top 30 markets .[2]

Documents & Timeline

1989 Feb 6 Ogilvy & Mather has sent a report to Susan Stuntz at the Tobacco Institute about their current projects (with Jim Savarese) in opposing excise tax increases.

  • Leadership for the New Century
        Following a conference they are writing a White Paper to be distributed to Congress and the labor unions
  • American Agricultural Movement
        With Savarese they are writing an economic impact paper on excise taxes + brochures, briefings and media report; also a State Fair plan in 18 states; article in the AAM Reporter attacking excise taxes; planned mailing to 10,000 names from AAM list.
  • Economic Policy Institute
        They have two reports ready for release in early 1989 -- promoting progressive taxes as alternative to cigarette excises. Also an anti-excise study by Professor Richard Musgrave.
  • Citzens for Tax Justice
        New report on progressive revenues due in next two months. O&M will work with CTJ on promoting these. Also a Minnesota report in early February.
  • Public Employees Division (AFL-CIO)
        An extra 5000 copies of White paper are being printed for distribution to State newspapers; legislators, etc.


1990 Apr 30 Roger Hickey the Communications Director of the EPI has sent out copies of a new study written by economist Robert Blecker, assistant professor of economics at American University and a research economist at EPI. (It makes the observation that the poor are not experiencing a boom like the rich.)

The interest is in the long list of recipients sent to the Tobacco Institute by the EPI . This is largely a list of Democrats, laced with the libertarians, tobacco consultants and friends on the free-enterprise side of the political fence


Accessed September 2009: [2]

Contact details

Economic Policy Institute Website:

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  1. Economic Policy Institute, "About the Economic Policy Institute", Economic Policy Institute website, accessed August 2009.
  2. Directors, Economic Policy Institute, accessed September 29, 2009.
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