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Press Release


Now More than Ever, Military Base Closures Should Move Forward, Six Citizen and Policy Groups Tell Congress

For Immediate Release October 13, 2005

(Alexandria, VA) - Fifteen years of positive economic experience and $37 billion in post-Katrina budget savings are just two reasons why Congress should support the next Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round, according to a statement sent to lawmakers today from half a dozen taxpayer and policy groups. The project is the brainchild of the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU), and was unveiled in advance of an expected vote later this month on a "resolution of disapproval" that could stop the fifth installment of the proven-successful BRAC process.

"BRAC saves money, makes the military more efficient, puts thousands of acres of land back on local tax rolls, and brings new jobs and new money to listed communities," according to the open letter to Congress. "[The] net savings of $37 billion over the next 20 years ... could be used to improve the quality of life for our men and women in uniform, be invested in modernized weapons systems, or returned to taxpayers."

Signatories of the letter, which collectively represent millions of concerned citizens, were NTU, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Coalitions for America, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, and the National Center for Public Policy Research.

The statement noted that fears of economic devastation in areas affected by base closures have been largely proven wrong over the past 15 years of BRAC's operation, and in fact "there are now dozens of success stories where benefits have flowed to communities whose bases are converted to better uses." New airports, cargo terminals, industrial parks, and education facilities are a few of the many projects that have sprung from these former military sites.

The participants also warned lawmakers not to be swayed by BRAC opponents who claim that the latest round is designed to ease fiscal pressures merely to keep overseas bases open. In reality, roughly 30 percent of the Pentagon's military infrastructure in Germany and South Korea is being shut down.

"We urge you to oppose this resolution [of disapproval] and to let the BRAC process go forward," the signatories concluded. "Put the BRAC bases back to work for America."

NTU was founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes and smaller government in a non-partisan manner; the group actively lobbied for the BRAC process in 1989. Note: The full text of the letter, along with other materials on military spending, is available online at www.ntu.org.

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