TAX DAY: CAGW BLASTS FEDERAL WASTE | Citizens Against Government Waste


Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Sean Rushton or Melissa Naudin
April 16, 2001(202) 467-5300


Washington, D.C. – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), in recognition of Tax Day, today expressed outrage at the federal government’s continued abuse of hundreds of billions of tax dollars in outdated, ineffective, duplicative, and wasteful programs and agencies.  CAGW recommends the largest possible tax cut to encourage government efficiency, as well as a government waste commission to recommend a complete federal overhaul.

“As they file their tax returns this Tax Day, Americans should be outraged by the federal government’s ongoing waste of their hard-earned money,” CAGW President Tom Schatz said.  “Taxpayers are paying the highest taxes in peacetime history to a government that mismanages their money and provides mostly poor services in return.  The government has created a tax code so byzantine no one fully understands it, a regulatory state so massive it costs the private sector $500 billion per year, and a completely bloated and incorrigible federal bureaucracy.” 

According to one study, the tax code costs individuals and businesses approximately $125 billion each year in compliance costs.  Additionally, taxpayers spend 4.3 billion hours per year in income tax compliance, the equivalent of a work force of over two million people, more than work in the auto industry, the computer manufacturing industry, the airline manufacturing industry, and the steel industry combined.

“CAGW calls for fundamental tax reform, as well as a freeze on new spending to force federal streamlining, downsizing, and reform,” Schatz also said.  “The Bush Administration’s $1.96 trillion federal budget, released last week, is a positive first step, but much deeper reforms need to be made.”

CAGW has identified $1.2 trillion over five years in waste, fraud, and abuse to be eliminated from the budget immediately.  

“By capping the budget’s growth at 4 percent, the president makes it significantly tougher for lots of last minute pork and bogus ‘emergency spending’ to be added on,” Schatz added.  “The idea that the general welfare would be imperiled by ‘only’ increasing spending by four percent is preposterous and illustrates the entrenched, tax-and-spend mentality in Congress.”

Among other reforms, the Bush budget would eliminate over 6,000 unrequested earmarks – a.k.a. pork projects - from federal outlays.  This year, by CAGW’s estimation, there were 6,333 such improper items crammed in by appropriators amounting to $18.5 billion, a figure in line with the administration’s projection.

“This massive ‘porkfest’ is the clearest sign that federal levies are too high, and every possible step should be taken to ensure that the big-spenders in Washington get their hands on fewer taxpayer dollars,” Schatz concluded.

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.



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