(Alexandria, VA) -- The nation's oldest and largest taxpayer advocacy organization today joined with fellow watchdog groups in urging members of Congress to vote for taxpayers by voting against the so-called "stimulus" package and instead focus on reducing wasteful spending. To aid this process, the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) announced the formation of an "ax brigade" to offer and push for concrete budget cuts.
"For too long, the discussions about stimulating the economy have centered on pouring more taxpayer money into inefficient and ineffective federal programs and agencies," NTU Vice President for Policy and Communications Pete Sepp said. "Taxpayers are singing another tune: Trim the federal budget and let us keep our hard-earned dollars."
As leaders of the new "ax brigade," NTU and CCAGW will offer extensive lists of areas ripe for a reduction in federal spending. The organizations recently sent letters to Congress and then-Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama outlining ways to reduce federal outlays. NTU's research arm, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), through its BillTally program has compiled a list of legislation that would reduce federal spending. NTUF also maintains a roster of 2,150 spending-cut bills introduced in the last nine Congresses that totaled over $9.5 trillion, only 69 of which were eventually signed into law (for a savings of $89.6 billion). Finally, NTU reviews data from the Bush Administration's Program Assessment Rating Tool, which found nearly 220 programs in 2007 that were ineffective or did not demonstrate results.
CCAGW's research arm, Citizens Against Government Waste, recently issued its "2009 Prime Cuts," which has 700 cut recommendations totaling $1.9 trillion over five years. It includes the elimination of duplicative and inefficient ventures such as the Market Access Program, which costs $231 million over five years to help large and profitable American companies advertise abroad.
"It's time for the debate to move beyond the current sure-to-fail 'stimulus' scheme and toward a longer-term solution for keeping more money in taxpayers' wallets," Sepp concluded. "The 'ax brigade' is here to stay -- the bloated federal budget isn't."
NTU is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: For more information, visit www.ntu.org.