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Letter


American Taxpayers to Congress on Stimulus 2: Don't Squander Our Money on More Government Spending

September 9, 2008

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the millions of tax-paying Americans represented by the groups signed below, we urge you to reject a massive increase in government spending disingenuously disguised with a "Stimulus 2" moniker. Congress should cut taxes and cut spending instead if it wants to stimulate the economy.

Although the price tag for a new spending package will undoubtedly spiral upward as the House and Senate ping-pong the legislation between themselves, Senator Robert Byrd made an "opening bid" of $24.1 billion for such a plan before Congress recessed in August. Not to be outdone, Congressional Quarterly news reports describe House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's commitment for new spending as "at least $50 billion." Taxpayers cringe at the thought of a Senate counter-offer.

Proponents will argue that a Stimulus 2 will direct money into infrastructure, housing, disaster recovery, and energy assistance -- supposedly "neglected" areas. We beg to differ.

According to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation's VoteTally program, which tracks Congressional votes affecting the level of federal outlays, Congress adopted legislation to increase spending above the baseline in these areas by $99 billion between 2001 and 2006.

Votes to Increase Federal Spending, 107th Congress through 109th Congress*

Energy & Water
(with HR 6, Energy Bill)**
$6,566,000,000
Transportation-VA-HUD
(with HR 3, Highway Bill)**
$50,202,000,000
Supplementals & Disasters*** $42,321,000,000
  $99,089,000,000

*Changes in outlays relative to appropriate baseline.
**Energy bill (HR 6, 108th Congress) and TEA-LU (HR 3, 109th Congress) are not offset against appropriations.
***FY02 Supplemental number is based on assumption that 60 percent of total cost is for non-defense emergency spending. FY05 Supplemental number is based on assumption that 7.5 percent of total cost is for non-defense emergency spending. FY06 Supplemental number is based on assumption that 25 percent of total cost is for non-defense emergency spending.

Government doesn't create wealth; it either redistributes it or destroys it. Our members understand that shifting money from individuals to government programs (many with questionable performance records) will not "stimulate" sustainable economic growth.

In early 2008, many of our organizations pointed out in an open letter that if "Congress seeks true stimulus that is economically sound, it ought to reduce tax rates ... ." That suggestion remains as true today as it did earlier this year. Low tax rates on hard work and investment will do much more over the short and long term to expand prosperity in America. Reject calls for higher federal spending.

Sincerely,

Duane Parde
National Taxpayers Union

Tom Schatz
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Tim Phillips
Americans for Prosperity

Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

Matt Kibbe
FreedomWorks

Tom McClusky
Family Research Council

Jeffrey Mazzella
Center for Individual Freedom

Ryan Ellis
American Shareholders Association

Doug Bandow
Citizen Outreach Project

William Westmiller
Republican Liberty Caucus

Terrence Scanlon
Capital Research Center

Steve Voeller
Arizona Free Enterprise Club

Tom Jenney
Arizona Federation of Taxpayers
Americans for Prosperity

Marc Goldstone
Arizona Tax Revolt

Roland Boucher
United Californians for Tax Reform

Douglas Bruce
Active Citizens Together (CO)

Bill Whipple
Securing America's Future Economy (SAFE) Delaware

John Hallman
Florida Taxpayers Union

Richard Rowland
State of Hawaii Center-Right Coalition

Karl Peterjohn
Kansas Taxpayers Network

Brett Gaspard
Kentucky Taxpayers Union

John Roberts
Taxpayers Union of Louisiana

Mark Alan Zelden
Louisiana Conservative Action Network

Dee Hodges
Maryland Taxpayers Association

Barbara Anderson
Citizens for Limited Taxation (MA)

Howie Morgan
Mississippi Forward

Forest Thigpen
Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Tom Martz
Missouri Liberty Coalition

Doug Kagan
Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom

Jerry Cantrell
New Jersey Taxpayers Association

Matthew J. Brouillette
Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives (PA)

James Beale
Rhode Island Statewide Coalition

Randy Page
South Carolinians for Responsible Government

Ben Cunningham
Tennessee Tax Revolt

Susan W. Gore
Wyoming Liberty Group

Kurt E. Hahn
Central Solano Citizen/Taxpayer Group (CA)

Richard Rider
San Diego Tax Fighters (CA)

Michael Dyer, Kauai County Coordinator
Hawaii Center-Right Coalition Meetings

Mark R. Spengler, Kailua Coordinator
Hawaii Center-Right Coalition Meetings

Rose Bogaert
Wayne County Taxpayers Association, Inc. (MI)

Roy H. Stewart
Bedford Taxpayers Association (NH)

Al Aitken
VOTORS (VA)

Timothy Wise
Arlington County Taxpayers Association (VA)

Bud Miller
Alexandria Taxpayers United (VA)