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NTU Supports the "Debt Buy-Down Act of 2010"

June 18, 2010
By Andrew Moylan

The Honorable Jeff Flake
United States House of Representatives
240 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Flake:

     On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write in strong support of your "Debt Buy-Down Act of 2010." By allowing taxpayers to designate a portion of their individual income tax liability toward debt reduction, this legislation would provide them with a personal veto pen to combat an out-of-control federal budget.

     When NTU supported a similar piece of legislation in 1993, our national debt was "only" $4 trillion. Today, that number has exploded to more than $13 trillion. The binge of bailouts and spending we've witnessed in recent years proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the United States Congress simply does not have the fiscal fortitude to make the tough choices necessary to trim back wasteful spending and put the nation's balance sheet back in order. That's why the Debt Buy-Down Act is so important.

     The bill instructs the IRS to include a check-off on 1040 tax returns that would allow filers to voluntarily direct as much as 10 percent of their tax liability toward retiring the public debt. It simultaneously requires an equal amount of spending reductions, to be determined by Congress, to protect the debt reductions that the American people order. If Congress fails to reduce spending sufficiently, an across-the-board cut would be implemented (exempting Social Security and veterans benefits, as well as net interest payments). This bill is simple, straightforward, and sorely needed. Moreover, unlike many other "check-off" proposals that would raise federal spending and deficits for various pet causes, the Debt Buy-Down Act would harness this process for the benefit of taxpayers.

     Day after day, American families have applied the "veto pen" to portions of their own budgets in order to make ends meet. Congress, in contrast, is demonstrably unwilling to make those choices. Instead of continuing to place our faith in the benevolence of politicians, the time has come to place our faith in the American people, who will take the actions that are vital to the continued prosperity and growth of our economy. NTU strongly supports this legislation and any Member that believes in fiscal responsibility should co-sponsor it without hesitation. Any roll call votes on this bill will be heavily weighted in our annual Rating of Congress.


Andrew Moylan
Director of Government Affairs