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(Alexandria, VA) – As the U.S. Senate continues deliberations over financial industry reform legislation, a joint statement by 21 prominent free-market organizations is urging lawmakers to "reject bailouts, taxes, and onerous regulations" contained in the bill and start over with a "comprehensive and measured approach" that protects taxpayers. The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) organized the open letter to Senators.
"This bill, even in amended form after Senate debate, is an unacceptable exercise in expanding the size and scope of the federal government while ignoring the restoration of fundamental free market principles that must take place if our economy is ever to experience lasting stability and prosperity," the letter stated.
Signatories of the statement represented a variety of national-level organizations whose members have been engaged in the debate over financial services reform, including: the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks, the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs, the Club for Growth, and the 60 Plus Association. Numerous state groups also participated, such as Massachusetts' Citizens for Limited Taxation, the Maryland Taxpayers Association, and Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom.
The letter pointed out that the considerably amended legislation remains flawed. For example, it continues to vest sweeping powers in new bodies such as the Financial Stability Oversight Council, whose members would be "the heads of the very entities that failed to protect taxpayers from the crisis the first time around."
Equally important, the statement notes, the bill is still "incomplete because it does virtually nothing to deal with the elephant in the room: housing." The groups contend that without "an honest attempt at disclosing and divesting taxpayer dollars from Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's balance sheets," systemic liabilities will remain high. Other problems, such as abuses in municipal bond markets and continuing shell games with the federal bailout of auto companies, are left largely unaddressed in the Senate's package.
"The time to reform Wall Street is now, but there is never a right time for the wrong solutions," the statement concluded. "We urge you to oppose this bill and return to the drawing board to draft a comprehensive and measured approach to financial reform."
The 362,000-member NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: The text of the joint letter and list of signatories is available at ntu.org.