FISCAL SANITY

protectaxpayers

2jpcMsJ

2017 Congressional Guide

ROADMAP TO

FISCAL

SANITY

Taxpayers Protection Alliance

1401 K Street NW, Suite 502

Washington, D.C. 20005

202.930.1716


Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

2

INCLUDED IN

THIS GUIDE:

14 ISSUES

CONGRESS MUST

ADDRESS IN 2017

Congress and the incoming Trump

Administration have an unprecedented

opportunity to right our nation’s fiscal

course. But with such high rewards from

electoral victories, come very high stakes to

ensure that the policies

promised during the

campaign are enacted.

With Republicans in

control of both chambers

of Congress and the White

House, there will be no

more excuses for failing to

make meaningful reforms

in the areas of our nation’s

tax code, Obamacare, and

defense spending, to name

only a few.

The Taxpayers Protection

Alliance (TPA) has

provided this Roadmap to

Fiscal Sanity as a resource

for members of Congress and their staff.

TPA’s hope is that Congressmen and Senators

will use this as a guide to assist them in

enacting policies that serve the best interest

of hardworking taxpayers across the nation.

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is a non-profit non-partisan organization

dedicated to educating the public through the research, analysis

and dissemination of information on the government’s effects on the

economy. TPA holds politicians accountable for the effects of their policies

on the size, scope, efficiency and activity of government and offers real

solutions to runaway deficits and debt. TPA recognizes that the greatest

power of change rests with the millions of Americans across the country

who are ready for a smaller more accountable government.

The Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity includes issue

glances that provide background, resources,

and action items for Congress to complete.

While TPA will continue to be a strong advocate

for the taxpayers in any matter Washington

takes on, TPA has highlighted 14 issue

areas that Congress must address in 2017.


3

Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

TABLE

OF CONTENTS

PAGE

DEFENSE SPENDING

EARMARKS

ENERGY POLICY

HEALTH CARE POLICY

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

MERGERS

REGULATORY REFORM

SOLAR SUBSIDIES

TAX REFORM

TELECOMMUNICATIONS POLICY

TRADE POLICY

UNITED NATIONS / WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

US POSTAL SERVICE REFORM

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

CONCLUSION 17


Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

4

DEFENSE

SPENDING

BACKGROUND

For far too long, members of Congress have avoided cutting duplicative and

wasteful defense spending programs in order to avoid being perceived as “weak”

on national security issues. This inability to stand up for fiscal responsibility –

not to mention the American taxpayer – has led to burgeoning defense spending

while our troops are often left ill-equipped for battle. Unfortunately, the annual

military authorization and spending bills have become vehicles chock full of budget

gimmicks, which allows Members’ pet projects and the Pentagon’s bloated

bureaucracy to thrive.

ACTION

RESOURCES

• TPA Signs Coalition Letter Criticizing

Congress for Budget Gimmicks in

NDAA

• TPA Finds $10 Billion in Earmarks in

Senate Defense Spending Bill

• Wasteful Military Spending Will Be

Trump’s First Test

• TPA’s 2016 Taxpayer Turkeys

• TPA Signs Bipartisan Coalition Letter

Urging NDAA Conferees to Strengthen

Military Whistleblower Protections

In January, the new Congress has the opportunity to correct the flawed trajectory that has become synonymous with Defense spending.

Rather than pile on more funding for outdated and now-ineffective programs, Congress should redirect the funds to ensure they

go to projects that do what they are supposed to do: help protect our nation and its citizens. The next authorization and spending

bills should focus on what resources the military needs to keep our nation the strongest in the world rather than what a particular

member wants to benefit his district.

The biggest problem the Pentagon faces is that the agency has never been audited. Despite it being mandated by law since 1995,

the Pentagon has never submitted to a complete financial audit. The Defense Department cannot provide a full accounting of how

it’s spending the taxpayer dollars it currently receives. It is common sense that a $600 billion agency be audited. Congress must pass

legislation requiring an audit of the Pentagon.

While there will inevitably be much debate about what should be funded, there is no question about what should not receive taxpayer

dollars. For example, last year’s Defense appropriations bill included 365 earmarks totaling $14.8 billion. These projects were not

added at the Pentagon’s request, rather by Members of Congress who took the opportunity to slip in spending for their pet projects

in a bill so large they hoped taxpayers wouldn’t notice the additional expenses. Well, we noticed. It is inappropriate to use a military

funding bill as a means to scratch lobbyists’ backs, and Congress should not allow this to occur ever again.


5

Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

EARMARKS

BACKGROUND

In 2011, Congress enacted an “earmark ban,” which has done much to reduce

the number of wasteful programs intended to reward members of Congress instead

of serving their constituents. While imperfect, the earmark ban has made

significant strides towards eliminating politicians’ pet projects. However, there

is no such thing as a permanent victory or defeat in Washington, and the threat

of earmarks returning to rear their ugly heads remains as present as ever. The

last time earmarks were the norm in Washington, people lost their jobs and even

went to jail. Our nation cannot afford to let that recur.

This past November, voters spoke very clearly that they were fed up with wasteful

spending and “business as usual” in Washington. The only thing standing between

earmarks being a thing of the past and their resurgence is the leadership

of this new Congress.

RESOURCES

• TPA President David Williams

Slams Potential Vote to Bring Back

Earmarks

• The Deficit Soars while Washington

Fiddles

• Summer Reading: Budget and

Spending

• TPA Releases List of 365 Earmarks

Worth $14.8 billion in Defense Appropriations

in FY 2016 Omnibus

ACTION

While some members of Congress are already salivating over the opportunity to lift the earmark ban at the start of this Congress,

Republican leaders should not entertain the idea of a vote to overturn the ban. Not only would reinstating earmarks betray any

semblance of fiscal responsibility, worse still, the action would betray the trust of the American taxpayer.

NOT ONLY WOULD REINSTATING EARMARKS BETRAY ANY SEMBLANCE OF FISCAL

RESPONSIBILITY, WORSE STILL, THE ACTION WOULD BETRAY THE TRUST OF THE

AMERICAN TAXPAYER.

A Republican majority that ran on reducing spending should not resurrect a process that encourages reckless spending and irresponsible

behavior. Instead, Congress should return to regular order in the appropriations process. Returning to normal budgeting

order would eliminate the need for last-minute omnibus bills loaded with earmarks and allow for more accountability in spending.


Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

6

ENERGY

POLICY

BACKGROUND

Our nation enjoys tremendous energy resources. What our country possesses in

natural resource potential, our government matches in regulations. Rather than

incentivizing development of our rich surroundings, the federal government imposes

a heavy hand upon energy production making it increasingly difficult for

both small and large businesses to cultivate new ventures. When government

gets out of the way, American consumers benefit by enjoying lower energy costs

which in turn lead to lower production costs, which lead to lower costs of consumer

goods.

RESOURCES

• Democrats’ Energy ‘Innovation’ Plan

A Throwback to Discredited Policies

• Taxpayer Dollars Funneled to Anti-Pipeline

Advocacy

• The Facts Behind CFR Tax Claims

That Would Actually Hurt the U.S.

Economy

• The EPA’s Bogus Attempt to Stop

America’s Energy Revolution

Despite these realities, previous Congresses and presidents have been inclined to

meddle in the energy industry either by increasing taxes at every phase of production

or by using taxpayer dollars to fund dead-end projects. Just last year,

President Obama proposed a $10 per barrel tax on oil. While he pitched it as a tax

so small no one would notice, Americans weren’t fooled. Not only would this tax have added nearly 25 cents a gallon to the cost of

gasoline, it would have had the most harmful impact on the pocketbooks of middle class and low-income families—the very groups

the former president intended his progressive policies would help.

ACTION

WHEN GOVERNMENT GETS OUT OF THE WAY, AMERICAN

CONSUMERS BENEFIT BY ENJOYING LOWER ENERGY COSTS

WHICH IN TURN LEAD TO LOWER PRODUCTION COSTS,

WHICH LEAD TO LOWER COSTS OF CONSUMER GOODS.

The need for affordable energy for American families is as great now as ever before. Rather than continuing the recent trend of

choosing winners and losers in the marketplace, Congress should step out of the way and allow the free market to work by doing

what it does best: reducing costs, increasing competition, and creating jobs. First, Congress and the new administration should resist

increasing taxes on any form of energy production. Increasing taxes would lead to a significant number of job losses and higher

priced goods, which would send harmful shockwaves throughout our nation’s struggling economy.

Congress should also reduce regulations and restrictions that make it difficult for emerging companies to venture into new drilling

projects and endeavors. Finally, Congress should end its practice of choosing winners and losers in the energy marketplace. This

includes phasing out the renewable fuel standard and allowing ethanol to compete on its own two feet without being held back by

an artificial government safety net.


7

Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

HEALTH CARE

POLICY

BACKGROUND

Our healthcare system has been in crisis for decades, with high costs driven by

clumsy regulations and a lack of incentives for consumers to shop for better options

and prices. These issues were exacerbated by the passage of the Affordable

Care Act (ACA) (aka Obamacare) in 2010, which mandated minimum insurance

coverage and raised or created 20 new taxes including a creeping tax on expensive

“Cadillac” plans. Obamacare is in a death spiral, as leading insurers continue

to withdraw from the market exchanges created by the legislation. Those who

are insured have seen their options decrease while their premiums and deductibles

continue to rise, some by even double digit percentages. Meanwhile, millions

of poor Americans are being offered a raw deal on Medicaid, which studies

show results in outcomes similar to not having insurance. The expansion of the

low-income insurance system under the Obamacare is failing to deliver results for

people hovering around the poverty line, due to many doctors’ refusal to accept

Medicaid’s low reimbursement rates. Doctors that do accept Medicaid make up

for shortfalls by bilking private plans that cover most Americans.

RESOURCES

• The Cure for Healthcare Reform

Begins with Repealing Obamacare

• Obamacare Demonstrates Dangers

of Government Interference

• More than 50 Groups Urge Congress

to Protect Taxpayers from

Obamacare Bailouts

ACTION

The incoming Congress can reverse this healthcare crisis by repealing the ACA and replacing it with legislation enabling consumer

choice. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) recently reintroduced The American Health Reform Act. His plan would restore market discipline

to the heavily regulated sector. This legislation, along with similar proposals, would allow Americans to shop across state lines for

insurance. Difficult to insure patients would have a safety net by the federal government subsidizing high-risk pools. These proposals

would also block grant Medicaid expenditures, leaving states in charge of program design and eligibility cut-offs. While some states

will keep the program structure similar, other states will be encouraged to take different approaches, such as direct payments to

low-income individuals seeking to purchase care. Competing different provision models can enable states to escape the failed model,

and directly compare the results of different programs.

Congress can nurse a sick medical sector back to health by allowing insurers, medical providers, and customers the maximum flexibility

they need in order to make the best decision they can on their healthcare needs. Ending initiatives like the Cadillac tax and

minimum benefits packages would curtail costs and allow individuals to buy plans as they see fit.


Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

8

INTELLECTUAL

PROPERTY

BACKGROUND

Intellectual property plays an important role in boosting our nation’s economic

growth, and IP-intensive industries account for more than 40 million jobs. IP’s contributions

don’t end there; the share of total U.S. GDP attributable to IP-intensive

industries increased from 34.8 percent in 2010 to 38.2 percent in 2014. This translates

to $6.6 trillion in GDP value added in 2014 alone. Despite these tremendous

contributions of the IP sector to our nation’s overall economy, IP is held back from

reaching its full potential due to the challenges digital piracy continues to pose to

the creative community worldwide. The attacks on IP cost both our nation and the

world billions of dollars in economic activity. Not only does digital piracy have a

negative impact on jobs, it also opens the floodgates to increased illicit trade and

revenue shortfalls.

RESOURCES

• TPA Signs International Coalition

Letter on Protecting Intellectual

Property Rights

• Report Highlights Economic Importance

of Intellectual Property

• Report from Taxpayer-Funded UN

Misses the Mark on Medicinal Advances

and Intellectual Property

• IP Concerns Continue to Grow for

FCC AllVid Proposal

ACTION

Congress must do all it can to encourage innovation in the IP community. The first way it can do so is to protect lawful actors while

bringing those who violate the law to justice. While it may be impossible to prevent all bad actors from thriving off of digital piracy,

Congress must continue to take steps to limit the damage done by digital pirates to contain and mitigate the damage suffered by

WITH MILLIONS OF JOBS AND TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY ON THE LINE, IT IS ABSOLUTELY VITAL

THAT CONGRESS PROTECT AND DEFEND IP RIGHTS.

those responsible for creating that content. With millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in economic activity on the line, it is absolutely

vital that Congress protect and defend IP rights. The more Congress does to strengthen IP rights and protections, the more

innovation, opportunity, and creativity will enter the marketplace. Not only will industries be free to flourish and create more and

better jobs, taxpayers and the world economy will also benefit.


9

Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

MERGERS

BACKGROUND

Despite what conventional wisdom suggests, mergers within industries do not

create an inherently anti-competitive environment that is harmful to consumers.

In fact, as recent telecomm mergers have demonstrated, mergers often benefit

millions of consumers by expanding access to high-speed broadband and streaming

video services. Growth and innovation in our economy depends on continued

technological developments throughout all industries. Mergers often provide the

manpower, ingenuity, and capital necessary to foster this increased growth and

innovation.

RESOURCES

• Washington’s Anti-Merger Agenda

Threatens Pro-Consumer Deals

• FCC and DOJ Flex Big Government

Muscle as Comcast-Time Warner

Merger Fails

• The DISH on Washington’s Front

Groups

ACTION

In an effort to protect a favored company seeking to maintain its stronghold, Congress and federal agencies like the Federal Communications

Commission (FCC) often block mergers. This is cronyism, and it must end. It is inappropriate for Congress – or worse,

unelected bureaucrats – to dictate how companies in a free economy choose to expend their resources and grow their business.

Sheltering a likely inferior company from competing with a new, merged company results in a bad deal for consumers. Rather than

protecting companies with the biggest lobbying presence, Congress should step aside and reserve its interference for situations

when proposed mergers may actually harm consumers.

IT IS INAPPROPRIATE FOR CONGRESS — OR WORSE, UN-

ELECTED BUREAUCRATS — TO DICTATE HOW COMPANIES IN

A FREE ECONOMY CHOOSE TO EXPEND THEIR RESOURCES

AND GROW THEIR BUSINESS.


Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

10

REGULATORY

REFORM

BACKGROUND

The Obama administration perfected the objective of “regulating what it could

not legislate.” From the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) fuel efficiency

standards to the Department of Energy (DoE) restricting the types of light bulbs

Americans can buy, President Obama and his cronies have acted beyond the scope

of their authority. Obama’s regulatory agencies have promulgated rules – some of

which the courts have thrown out – that continue to wreak havoc on the economy

and stymy creativity. In 2015 alone, the Obama Administration promulgated 43

new, major rules, which led to an increase in regulatory costs in excess of $22 billion.

Not even counting the effects of all of 2016’s new regulations – they are still

being tallied—as of 2015, the total annual costs of the Obama Administration’s

regulations and rules total more than $100 billion in only seven years.

RESOURCES

• Top Five Financial Regulations Trump

Should Repeal

• ObamaCare Demonstrates Dangers

of Government Interference

• TPA Joins Coalition Urging Congress

to Derail New Regulatory Effort by

Department of Transportation

ACTION

Congress should act immediately, and quickly, to cut back the massive number of regulations

that continue to burden individuals and businesses, while costing the economy

trillions of dollars over the last several years. For example, repealing Obamacare

and the job-killing regulations accompanying it, would do much to help small business

owners who continue to be crippled by the law’s harmful impact on hiring and pay

practices. Repealing Obamacare would also put individuals and families, as opposed

to government bureaucrats, in the driver’s seat when it comes to making personal decisions

about healthcare needs.

Additionally, new leadership in federal agencies will do much to change the “business

CONGRESS SHOULD TAKE THE OP-

PORTUNITY A NEW ADMINISTRA-

TION PROVIDES AND USE THIS

CHANCE TO CHANGE THE WAY REG-

ULATORY AGENCIES OPERATE AND

USHER IN A NEW ERA OF INCENTIVIZ-

ING CREATIVITY TO THE BENEFIT OF

TAXPAYERS AND THE ECONOMY.

as usual” mentality known to plague Washington. Cronyism was alive in the Obama administration, where it was the norm for federal

agencies to create regulations and policies solely for the purpose of showing favoritism for one company over another. Congress

should take the opportunity a new administration provides and use this chance to change the way regulatory agencies operate and

usher in a new era of incentivizing creativity to the benefit of taxpayers and the economy.


11

Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

SOLAR

SUBSIDIES

BACKGROUND

One of the greatest inhibitors – if not the greatest — to the growth of solar energy

is the solar industry’s very own subsidies. Intended to “help” this supposedly

nascent, struggling industry get off the ground, solar subsidies have had exactly

the opposite effect. Rather than rewarding innovation, like the free market does,

subsidies create complacency and establish a cycle of dependency. And on top of

all that, subsidies just don’t work. This is in part because the companies receiving

them are usually doomed from the start. If these ventures were successful

on their own, they wouldn’t be looking to the government for a handout. From

Solyndra to Solar City to SunEdison, solar subsidies have become synonymous

with bankruptcies that leave taxpayers with a large tab. In April 2016, SunEdison,

self-proclaimed “largest green energy company,” filed for bankruptcy protection.

Even after becoming the 13th-most subsidized company in the United States,

SunEdison misused taxpayer funds and worse still, lied about it. While the company

SunEdison is very much a thing of the past, it is alive and well in American

households who are still paying off the company’s bad business ventures. The free

market, not the government, is the entity best suited to meet the needs of consumers.

RESOURCES

• Big Solar’s Dark Side

• SunEdison Bankruptcy Three Times

Bigger than Solyndra

• The Left Is Already Pushing The New

Solar Jobs ‘Report’ As Good News.

Don’t Buy It.

ACTION

Congress must eliminate all forms of energy subsidies. This includes all taxpayer-financed solar subsidies, and specifically the solar

investment tax credit. At both federal and state levels, the solar industry has been coddled for several decades. Congress must stop

the trend the Obama administration embraced that involved throwing taxpayer money at any shiny new solar company that came on

the scene. Despite similar promises of making solar energy a viable, affordable energy source for every household, a very few solar

companies have obtained this distinction regardless of whether or not they received government funding.

In addition to eliminating energy subsidies, Congress must discontinue all energy tax credits, most of all, the solar investment tax

credit. This tax “credit” benefits solar companies and not solar consumers. Rather than reducing costs for consumers, this “credit”

merely inflates the cost of solar panels by 30 percent. As a result of this credit, solar companies have now come to rely on these

“consumer credits” as part of the company’s income. And as with everything else, the entity ultimately tasked with paying for this

credit is the taxpayer. Congress must stop feeding the fanciful, short-term boom and bust cycle government subsidies drive and

funnel into inefficient industries unable to succeed on their own. Instead, Congress should refocus its efforts on eliminating all favoritism

across the board and allow energy companies – alternative, traditional, and everything in between—to compete freely in

the marketplace.


Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

12

TAX

REFORM

BACKGROUND

Almost every American agrees—our nation’s tax code is beyond repair. Incremental

changes to its inherently flawed structure have only made matters more complicated

and difficult for the average American to discern. The current tax code

punishes individuals and businesses. Individuals fear April 15th and a potential

audit and companies head to countries with lower tax structures.

The last time our nation saw comprehensive tax reform was 1986, the same year

Top Gun was a box office smash. It has been more than 30 years since the tax code

saw a major overhaul and that’s 30 years too long.

RESOURCES

• Taxpayer New Years Resolutions for

2017

• Time to Get to Work on Real Tax

Reform

• TPA to Washington in 2017: No

More Excuses!

• Tax Reform, Not Overreaching Treasury

Rules, the Answer to Restoring

Competitiveness

• Make Ban on Internet Taxes

Permanent

ACTION

If Congress is serious about doing what it can to get our nation’s economy back on track, then its first item of business should be to

overhaul our nation’s outdated and complicated tax code. While not a small feat, this action would do much to promote economic

growth and job creation in every sector of our nation’s economy. Congress should view tax reform as the lynchpin of our nation’s

economic resurgence. This new Congress should take the time it needs to get tax reform right for both taxpayers and businesses.

Updating the tax code will entail lowering tax rates, consolidating brackets, and eliminating special interest carve outs. Couple that

with ridding taxpayers of the massive complexity in the current tax code, and Congress has a good recipe for reform that will actually

work. One provision that must NOT be included in any tax reform package is the border adjustment tax. A border tax would

arbitrarily punish companies. With a simpler and fairer tax code, individuals and businesses can spend less time doing their taxes, a

process that costs billions of dollars and takes away billions of hours from people each year.

A SIMPLER AND FAIRER TAX CODE WOULD ALLOW INDIVIDUALS

AND BUSINESSES TO SPEND LESS TIME DOING THEIR TAXES — A

PROCESS THAT COSTS BILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND TAKES AWAY

BILLIONS OF HOURS FROM PEOPLE EACH YEAR.


13

Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

POLICY

BACKGROUND

Under the Obama Administration, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

has abandoned even the nominal perception that it is an independent agency.

Rather than perform actions appropriate for an agency intended to be beyond the

president’s reach, under FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and at Obama’s direction,

the FCC has morphed into a political and policy arm of the Obama administration.

From net neutrality to onerous regulations from tax increases to stunted innovations,

the FCC during the Obama-Wheeler reign has levelled hit after hit on what

should be a thriving telecomm industry. Net neutrality is completely antithetical

to the innovative nature that is the hallmark of the Internet since its inception.

Over the past eight years, the FCC has acted overwhelmingly to appease the wishes

of the president’s advisors at the expense of the industry it supposedly serves.

RESOURCES

• New Report Highlights Economic

Impacts of IP and Copyright

• FCC Inexplicably Hates Free Data for

Consumers

• DOJ Wants to Overturn Microsoft

v. United States — That Would Be a

Disaster for Privacy Rights

ACTION

The fundamental shift towards unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats at the FCC, who are making decisions that significantly impact

the ability of Americans to live their lives, must be reversed. This starts with Congress. Congress must act without hesitation

to scale back the damage of the Obama-Wheeler FCC. First, the policy disaster of net neutrality must become a thing of the past.

Fortunately, the FCC’s net neutrality rule appropriately confronted hurdle after hurdle within the judicial system. However, Congress

must do more to ensure no future administration attempts to highjack independent agencies to advance its own policy goals in the

way Obama did. It is also imperative that Congress reassert the sanctity of privacy within a culture of increasingly compromised

personal data.

Rather than finding ways to take more money from the paychecks of hardworking Americans, Congress should look for revenue

collection that does not involve the taxman coming to every families’ home each April. One of the ways to do this is to encourage

an increase in spectrum auctions. The federal government possesses a considerable amount of high-quality spectrum, which it currently

uses ineffectively or not at all. Wireless companies, on the other hand, are hungering for additional spectrum to better serve

consumers and grow business. Increased and streamlined government spectrum auctions could potentially lead to billions of dollars

if the private sector has the opportunity to purchase it.


Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

14

TRADE

POLICY

BACKGROUND

Free trade is an integral foundation for any economy seeking growth, innovation,

and expanded opportunity. Not only is free trade good for the U.S. economy, it is

also good for the American taxpayer. TPA has long been a leading voice in promoting

free trade and played a significant role in crafting Trade Promotion Authority.

Unfortunately, when integrated into the Trans-Pacific Partnership, anti-free trade

policies began creeping their way into the deal. Ultimately, given TPA’s major concerns

with what became of the formal trade deal, TPA could not offer its support

to an agreement that was proving to be less and less free market. Free trade is

best realized when governments don’t meddle; the less government interference,

the greater prosperity and benefit to American workers, and more importantly,

American taxpayers.

RESOURCES

• TPA Statement on TPP Agreement

• TPA Joins Coalition Letter on Tariffs

and Trade Legislation

• House Lawmakers Fish for Relief

from Catfish Regulations

ACTION

Congress should not shy away from aggressively

promoting free trade deals to benefit the American

worker and our nation’s economy. Reforming

the tax code will do much to increase America’s

trading prowess, but that action alone is insufficient.

Congress must embrace policies that tell

the world the United States is open for business

FREE TRADE IS BEST REALIZED WHEN GOVERNMENTS DON’T

MEDDLE; THE LESS GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE, THE GREATER

PROSPERITY AND BENEFIT TO AMERICAN WORKERS, AND MORE

IMPORTANTLY, AMERICAN TAXPAYERS.

again. The crushing regulations and draconian taxation schemes of the Obama administration should become a thing of the past.

When done correctly, these changes will unleash American ingenuity and innovation, which would lead to a boon in productivity

within every sector of the economy.


15

Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

UNITED NATIONS /

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

BACKGROUND

Both the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) receive

considerable funding from American taxpayers. Worse still is what the UN and the

WHO use these taxpayer dollars to fund: a UN agenda that furthers a variety of

anti-freedom, anti-intellectual property activities and the WHO that is more concerned

with social engineering than providing assistance for global health crises.

Time and time again, these organizations vigorously engage in policies that are

contrary to protecting the values and principles of freedom of the press, transparency,

and intellectual property. Furthermore, in direct contravention to the

UN Charter, the WHO is currently mired in accusations of lack of transparency,

corruption, and even stifling press freedom.

RESOURCES

• World Health Organization in Need

of Intensive Care: World Taxpayers

Funding Failing International

Organization

• The World Health Organisation Is In

Crisis - And At A Crossroads

• When Citizens In The “Nanny State

Capital Of The World” Question The

World Health Organisation, You Have

To Sit Up And Listen

• Taxpayer-Funded UN Anti-Tobacco

Convention Closes out the Press

ACTION

Members of Congress should demand increased accountability at the UN and the WHO, especially in light of the fact that billions of

U.S. taxpayer dollars fund and allow these world bodies to continue to exist. It is imperative for Congress to conduct proper oversight

precisely because the UN and the WHO use American taxpayers’ money to undermine our nation’s ideals and interests. Congress

must send an unequivocal message to the UN and the WHO that our hard-earned money will not fund an agency just so they can

put out studies that harm IP or economic development. Rather than permitting the UN and the WHO’s cavalier attitude to remain,

Congress should stop allowing taxpayer dollars to fund activities that promote values and actions inconsistent with the principles of

the United States.


Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

16

U.S. POSTAL

SERVICE REFORM

BACKGROUND

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) provides every American with the invaluable service

of mail delivery no matter where they live, at an affordable rate. While its

mail service is a profitable one, by the end of 2016, the USPS reported its tenth

consecutive year with a multi-billion-dollar loss. Unfortunately, last year’s billion

dollars of losses is the norm for USPS. For example, in 2014, the USPS lost $5.4

billion and 2015 saw an additional $5.1 billion loss. Now, for the first time in more

than four decades, the Board of Governors is operating without a single independent

voice. The leadership has languished as terms of the members on the Board

of Governors have expired, opening up vacancy after vacancy. As of right now,

the board is missing nine members who are appointed by the President and confirmed

by the Senate. The current leadership consists of the Postmaster General

and the Deputy Postmaster General. There is a real lack of leadership at the USPS,

and the essentially empty Board of Governors is emblematic of that leadership

deficit.

This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone watching poor decision after poor decision USPS leadership makes, like expanding services

that consistently lose money. Racking up nearly $40 billion in debt since 2011 and operating with over $116 billion in outstanding

debt and unfunded liabilities, the financial issues that plague USPS are extremely worrisome. In fact, it is difficult to find any other

organization with such large financial deficits that has not already gone bankrupt. And, any other entity that would mount such

losses would demand radical leadership changes at the top of the organization. But that’s not the case for USPS, which appears to

be content with the same failed leadership.

ACTION

RESOURCES

• Postal Service Begins the Holiday

Season by Delivering More Debt

• TPA Submits Comments to Postal

Regulatory Commission on Proposed

Rate Increase

• TPA Submits Coaltion Materials

in Response to Postal Reform

Legislation

Given the perpetual financial woes of USPS, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have rightfully raised alarm bells over

the future of the U.S. Postal Service as its current trajectory is no longer sustainable. The 2016 election has provided Congress with

a great opportunity to show leadership by setting USPS on a sustainable path to reform. This begins with refocusing USPS back to

its core service, mail delivery. The USPS should immediately look to fill the vacant Board of Governors spots. USPS should stop

encroaching on private sector services such as grocery delivery. USPS should also not consider and new ventures with the private

sector. A move to purchase a new fleet of trucks is in the works but if the agency changes course on the plan, they can purchase an

updated fleet capable of lasting two decades at a cost that will save the agency more than $2 billion. While some have grown immune

to the massive debt that USPS accrues at each fiscal year’s completion, USPS needs to return focus to profitable products and

a path towards financial sustainability. Real reforms to the U.S. Postal Service are necessary so that taxpayers will not be forced to

bail out another quasi-government entity teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Congress should put the interest of taxpayers ahead

of the government-protected monopoly that is USPS.


Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity

17

CONCLUSION

With all that is at stake in this new Congress, it is imperative that Congress and the new Administration remember the taxpayers that

voted them into office in the first place. Our country yearns for leadership that will restore fiscal sanity, reduce taxes, and increase

opportunities for all Americans. Tough fiscal issues and competing priorities will inevitably surface in this season of politics—as they

have in every time before. But when faced with difficult decisions this time, Congress and the new President must do something they

have rarely done in the past. And that is to act in the best interest of the American taxpayer. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance will

work to ensure Congress does exactly that.


TAXPAYERS

PROTECTION

ALLIANCE

VISIT

1401 K Street NW, Suite 502

Washington, D.C. 20005

CALL

202.930.1716

CONNECT

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines