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NTU Supports H.R. 2682, the Freedom from Government Competition Act
July 22, 2009
The Honorable John J. Duncan, Jr.
Dear Representative Duncan:
On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write in support of H.R. 2682, your Freedom from Government Competition Act. This bill would allow for a "Yellow Pages" test to review commercial activities within the federal government, so as to help thwart unfair and unnecessary government-sponsored competition with the private sector.
The premise behind a "Yellow Pages" test is simple. If a service currently being provided by the government is also found in a business directory such as the Yellow Pages, then that service should be performed by the private sector except in the rare case where government can do so at a lower cost. Not only does this stimulate our free market economy by ensuring that products are made available to taxpayers at the absolute best value, but it also protects those activities that are intrinsically governmental.
Simply put, government should not perform tasks that the private sector can do at a lower cost. The Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act was designed with a similar goal in mind. However, less than 10 percent of the 850,000 positions in the federal government deemed commercial in nature have actually been reviewed under the FAIR Act since 1998.
With the federal government expanding at a greater pace than we have seen in over 60 years, now is the time to take action and make certain that we keep America's entrepreneurial spirit alive. H.R. 2682 would be a great step in that direction.
If we utilize a "Yellow Pages" test on the positions identified under the FAIR Act, experts predict that budgetary savings of between $20 billion and $28 billion each year could result.
I urge all Members of Congress to cosponsor the Freedom from Government Competition Act. Any roll call votes on this bill will be significantly weighted in our annual Rating of Congress.