Five Outrageous Ways the Federal Government Has Wasted Your Money (Pt. II)

The federal government is no stranger to out-of-control spending. The national debt has now reached a startling $21 trillion!

That’s not all: Congress recently passed an omnibus spending package that will cost $1.3 trillion. But wasteful federal spending doesn’t stop there.

The federal government has misused your money on various pet projects, both large and small, over the years. It’s time to expose this waste.

Read on to discover five more absurd examples of government waste, as described in Sen. Jeff Flake’s 2017 Wastebook report.

$1.5 Million Spent Studying Fish on Treadmills 

University of California – San Diego study spent a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to measure the endurance of mudskipper and bluegill fish on a treadmill.

Sounds like a fishy use of taxpayer funds!

While the National Science Foundation regularly gives grants to universities for research purposes, that taxpayer-funded research is best when it has some tangible benefit for the American people who pay for it.

$1.7 Million Spent on a Comedy Club Featuring Dead Comedian Holograms

The U.S. Department of Commerce spent $1.7 million to help construct a comedy museum in Jamestown, New York that will “resurrect” dead comedians – from Lucille Ball to George Carlin – in the form of holograms.

The holograms will perform in a basement bar for visitors of the National Comedy Center, as a way to attract tourists to Jamestown.

While tourists might chuckle at the holographic comedians, the $1.7 million bill for the project on the taxpayer’s dime is no laughing matter.

$3 Million Spent Studying the Jaws Theme and People’s Perception of Sharks 

In 2016, taxpayers funded a $3 million National Science Foundation grant to study the public’s fear of sharks in relation to the Jaws theme song and music played during documentaries.

Researches noted, “this study specifically highlights the need to raise the public’s awareness of the effect of background music in shark documentaries in hope that it would decrease the extent by which they are affected by it.”

With federal debt soaring, the feds should work to be better stewards of our tax dollars and ensure that every research project funded is a worthwhile use of those dollars. Spending $3 million to study the Jaws theme’s impact on shark perception is not.

The Department of Defense Spent $2.4 Million to Learn How to Get More “Likes” on Social Media  

The Department of Defense funded a $2.4 million study to “counter misinformation or deception campaigns with truthful information,” as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Social Media in Strategic Communications program.

The researchers examined 1.1 randomly selected photos on Instagram and analyzed numbers of follower on social media accounts.

More than $2 million is a hefty price tag for taxpayers to spend on research that could (and has) easily been done by private groups.  

$3.4 Million Spent on Hamster Cage Matches  

Over the past twenty years, the National Institutes of Health has spent $3.4 million studying aggression and anxiety in more than 1,000 male hamsters.

The study, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, involves pitting juvenile male hamsters against each other at Northeastern University in Boston.

Much like a hamster wheel, our national debt continues to spin out of control. It’s time for the federal government to stop wasteful spending on pet projects and use our hard-earned tax dollars in a more responsible manner.

While many of these examples may seem funny, wasteful spending is no joke.

The federal government has spent millions of your hard-earned tax dollars over the years on pointless projects, and the cost borne by current and future taxpayers only continues to grow.

Tell Congress to stop wasting our hard-earned tax dollars and cut wasteful and egregious spending as they write the FY 2019 spending bills.

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AFP: Tax and Regulatory Relief Clearly Helping the Economy

“Imagine Where We Could Be Without The Specter Of Tariffs.”

Arlington, VA – Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy gained 223,000 jobs in May and the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, matching April 2000 as the lowest reading since 1969.

Americans for Prosperity Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner issued the following statement:

“The jobs numbers continue to show that tax reform and regulatory relief are a boon for the economy and improving the lives of all Americans. Today’s job report shows one of the lowest unemployment rates since the 1960s and the lowest level of African American unemployment in recorded history. While this is good news, imagine where we could be without the specter of tariffs, which only undermine our full economic potential with the threat of higher costs for consumers and businesses.”

Background:

  • This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate for May 2018 decreased to 3.8 percent, the lowest rate since April 2000, and that the economy gained 223,000 jobs.
  • The total number of jobs added during April and March was revised to 159,00 and 155,000 respectively for an average of roughly 207,000 jobs created per month so far this year.
  • Further, the percentage of individuals who are underemployed, which incorporates those who want a job but are no longer looking for work and those who are working part-time because no other work was available, fell to its lowest rate in 17 years.

For further information or to set up an interview, please send an email to [email protected].

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate. AFP has more than 3.2 million activists across the nation, a local infrastructure that includes 36 state chapters, and has received financial support from more than 100,000 Americans in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.AmericansForProsperity.org

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Americans for Prosperity Thanks Senator Heitkamp for Cosponsoring the Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act

Today, AFP is launching a digital advertising campaign thanking Senator Heitkamp (D-ND) for cosponsoring the Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, (S. 2155), a bill that will ease constraints on regional and community banks put in place by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (H.R. 4173).

To view the ad thanking Senator Heitkamp, click here

The ad connects users to a page allowing them to thank Heitkamp and other members of the Senate who played important roles in the passage of this law. Click here to view that page.

Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips had this to say:

“Congress achieved a significant milestone in lifting some of the toughest restrictions Dodd-Frank placed on small banks and their consumers. This was a bipartisan effort made possible by lawmakers like Heidi Heitkamp who put politics aside to work together. While we don’t agree with Sen. Heitkamp on everything, particularly her vote against tax relief, we commend her for taking a stand against the leaders of her party to do the right thing. We hope to find common ground and work with Sen. Heitkamp on other issues moving forward including making tax relief permanent.”

“AFP is committed to working with lawmakers – regardless of party- to advance common sense reforms that help people improve their lives. At the same time, we will continue to hold members who voted against this crucial reform accountable.”

AFP-ND has held Senator Heitkamp accountable for harmful votes in the past, such as her vote against the historic tax reform legislation passed late last year.

AFP also thanked the following members in the Senate for their roles in passing the bill: Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (TX), Corey Gardner (R-CO), Dean Heller (R-NV), Ben Sasse (R-NE) Mark Warner (D-VA), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Michael Bennet (CO).

For further information or to set up an interview, please send an email to [email protected].

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate. AFP has more than 3.2 million activists across the nation, a local infrastructure that includes 36 state chapters, and has received financial support from more than 100,000 Americans in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.AmericansForProsperity.org

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AFP’s Tim Phillips: Time to Hold Republicans Accountable for Reckless Spending

You’ve probably read stories about the growing partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans in America.

But there is one thing both parties have both taken part in: bipartisan wasteful spending has led our nation to $21 trillion in federal debt.

Most recently, Republicans in Congress have exacerbated the debt by passing the reckless $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, which was then signed by a Republican president.

Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips addresses this issue and the need to hold Republicans accountable in his recent op-ed in Inside Sources:

When Republicans can’t even muster up the courage to restrain the growth of spending on Democratic priorities — The Atlantic noted that the measure would “make Barack Obama proud” — what hope is there for dealing with the deficit When they write a mammoth spending bill in secret and rush it to final passage before lawmakers have a chance to read and digest it, what are voters to think.

Phillips elaborates and discusses opportunities for Congressional Republicans to curb wasteful spending habits and pursue meaningful reforms:

The solution to our budget crisis is not to dun the taxpayer for the tab run up by politicians in both parties. The solution is for Congress to restrain itself.

One step the Republican leadership could take right now would be to employ the little-used rescission process to claw back some of the spending included in the omnibus. Instead of pursuing such genuine reforms, however, the House held a show-vote on a balanced budget amendment that had no chance and would not have cut a single dime off the deficit.

Phillips highlights the soon-to-be-addressed FY 2019 budget as one last opportunity this year for Republicans to get it right and prove to the American people that they are serious about cutting wasteful federal spending, stating:

The next budget deadline will present one more chance, just a few weeks before the midterm elections, for fiscally responsible lawmakers from both parties to give potential voters a reason they should be returned to office. Certainly, the recently passed “bipartisan” omnibus gives them no such reason.

Time will tell whether Republicans in Congress decide to put the American people first by passing a fiscally responsible budget, or whether they plan to continue kicking the can down the road, by joining the Democrats on a bipartisan spending spree.

Read Phillips’ full piece here.

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ICYMI: Unions only have themselves to blame for losing members

Americans for Prosperity Policy Director Akash Chougule | New York Post

Labor leaders are panicking ahead of a Supreme Court decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, which could drastically alter the relationship between government unions and employees forced to fund their activity.

Adding to their woes is a new study by the union-funded Illinois Economic Policy Institute that predicts disaster for organized labor if the court rules in favor of Mark Janus, an Illinois state employee who sued AFSCME, arguing he shouldn’t be forced to pay “agency fees” to the union since its collective bargaining with the government constitutes lobbying and political speech he may not agree with. A decision is due this summer.

The most eye-catching assertion by IEPI is that public-sector union membership could drop by 726,000 if the court sides with Janus. Unions want you to believe Janus and the hundreds of thousands of other public-union members who want to leave will get a “free ride,” enjoying the collective-bargaining benefits of union membership without paying dues.

But these would be, by definition, workers who do not want the union to represent them; they’re forced riders, not free riders, required to fund political speech against their will.

They’d gladly represent themselves, but unions consistently oppose bills that would let them do so, including ones recently in Michigan, Oklahoma and Missouri, largely because the bigger their numbers, the greater their bargaining leverage. In other words, unions choose to represent nonmembers because it’s in their interest.

IEPI claims that if Janus wins, public-sector workers could lose $1,810 in annual income, worsening the “pay penalty” that comes with working in state and local government. But union dues themselves can cost as much as $1,000 a year. And the “pay penalty” simply doesn’t exist, particularly in forced-union states that would be affected by the Janus case.

Having lost the private sector, unions are now circling the wagons around government employees. But, as the unions themselves admit, hundreds of thousands of those employees don’t want to be hemmed in.

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Five Outrageous Ways the Federal Government Has Wasted Your Money (Part I)

American families make hard choices about spending every day, carefully budgeting to make ends meet and plan for the future.

Shouldn’t the same rules apply to our federal government?

You would think! Yet the national debt has now hit $21 trillion and Congress keeps on spending.

Sen. James Lankford has documented some of the most ridiculous ways the government has spent YOUR hard-earned tax dollars over the years in his annual report, Federal Fumbles.

In this blog series, we’ll take a close look at some of the most egregious examples of government waste from Sen. Lankford’s reports over the years.

Check out five crazy examples of wasteful government spending from Sen. Lankford’s 2015 report below:

$374,087 Spent Watching Grandma’s Dating Behavior

In 2015, the federal government spent $374,087 in taxpayer dollars observing senior adults’ dating habits.

The National Science Foundation study’s stated objective of obtaining a “more comprehensive understanding of relationship maintenance efforts” was murky at best.

$67.9 Million Spent on Wild Horse Management

Tell the federal government to stop horsin’ around with your tax dollars!

In FY 2014 alone, the Bureau of Land Management spent $67.9 million to manage the growing population of thousands of wild horses that span across 26.9 million acres in the American West.

Instead of making taxpayers pay for the care and feeding of these horses, the government should transfer the management of wild horses and burros to humane, private organizations.

$43 Million Spent on a Gas Station…in Afghanistan

From 2011 to 2014, the Department of Defense’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, tasked with building up Afghanistan’s economy, spent nearly $43 million to build a Compressed Natural Gas filling station in Sheberghan, Afghanistan.

Sadly, someone didn’t do their research, or they would have discovered that there was no natural gas distribution ability in Afghanistan and the cost to convert a vehicle to CNG exceeded the average annual income in the country.

After a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars – spending a total of $766 million during the organization’s lifetime, the DOD closed the failed TFBSO in March 2015.

Millions Spent Marketing U.S. Raisins in Foreign Countries

The Department of Agriculture spends HOW much marketing raisins?

The Foreign Service Market Access Program spends nearly $200 million of your money annually to pay companies and trade groups for advertising, market research and travel costs to promote American products overseas.

Since 1998, the Raisin Administrative Committee – a group of 46 California raisin growers and packers – has received more than $38 million in taxpayer funds from the Market Access Program to promote their raisins abroad.

The catch? The Raisin Administrative Committee already produces 99.5 percent of all American raisins and 45 percent of the world’s raisins.

$2.6 Million to Help Truckers Diet

Encouraging a healthy lifestyle is great – but it should not be done on the taxpayers’ dime. From 2011 to 2015, American taxpayers have spent a total of $2.6 million to fund a trucker weight-loss intervention program, sponsored by the National Institute of Health.

The federal government would do well to trim its annual budget in the future by cutting wasteful programs like this one.

As you can see, these programs are not a valuable use of anyone’s tax dollars. The American people have had enough!

Tell Congress to stop wasting our hard-earned tax dollars! It’s time for our lawmakers put the American people first, and stop overspending! 

Then, stay tuned to see the next round of wasteful government spending projects!

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ICYMI: Republicans Must Be Held Accountable for Spending

Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips | Inside Sources

“Politicians’ addiction to overspending has long been bound by no political affiliation. No matter which party is in charge, the federal government runs a deficit. The $21 trillion national debt is the most visiblebipartisan accomplishment, if you want to call it that, of the past several decades.

A recent manifestation of this trend is the reckless $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, the hurried creation of a Republican House and Republican Senate, and signed into law by a Republican president.

The 2,232-page behemoth pushed discretionary spending — the spending Congress has direct and immediate control over — a whopping $143 billion over previous budget cap levels. And, of course, it did nothing to rein in mandatory spending on entitlement programs, the main drivers of deficits and debt.

The answers are in the numbers, if only congressional leadership would do the math.

The deficit is expected to exceed $800 billion this year, approach $1 trillion next year, and then remain in excess of $1 trillion for years to come. According to a newly released report by the Congressional Budget Office, an additional $12.4 trillion will be added to the debt over the next 10 years.

For those hoping to pin this dismal outlook on the tax cuts enacted at the end of 2017, you’ll have to look elsewhere. CBO projects that federal tax revenues as a share of GDP will be higher in 10 years than it is now. Federal spending is projected to exceed 23 percent of GDP by 2027. The historical norm is about 20 percent.

The next budget deadline will present one more chance, just a few weeks before the midterm elections, for fiscally responsible lawmakers from both parties to give potential voters a reason they should be returned to office. Certainly, the recently passed “bipartisan” omnibus gives them no such reason.”

For further information or to set up an interview, please send an email to [email protected].

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate. AFP has more than 3.2 million activists across the nation, a local infrastructure that includes 36 state chapters, and has received financial support from more than 100,000 Americans in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.AmericansForProsperity.org

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AFP Urges House to Pass Dodd-Frank Reform

Arlington, Va. – Americans for Prosperity today called on House lawmakers to pass the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S.2155), providing relief to regional and community banks suffering under the burdensome regulations of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (H.R. 4173). Ahead of an expected vote Tuesday, AFP is announcing it will be scoring the legislation on its congressional scorecard and is urging House lawmakers to vote “Yes”.

VIEW THE KEY VOTE ALERT HERE

In a key vote letter sent to lawmakers Monday, AFP called on the House to pass the bipartisan bill crafted by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) easing federal restrictions on community banks and reducing the cost of regulatory compliance.

AFP Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner issued the following statement:

“Businesses and communities have suffered too long under harmful and counterproductive Obama-era financial restrictions. The consequences can be seen on Main Streets across the country as Dodd-Frank created barriers to the American Dream for millions of families and businesses.

“Thanks to the efforts of Chairman Crapo, House leadership and House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, Republicans and Democrats now have an opportunity to work together to provide relief for the hardworking men and women who are the foundation of their vibrant communities.

“We urge House members to vote ‘yes’ on Dodd-Frank repeal and look forward to supporting Chairman Hensarling in his effort to advance additional House-passed financial reforms through the Senate.”

Background:

Since the passage of the 2,300-page Dodd- Frank law in 2010, AFP has advocated for an end to harmful regulations that force small financial institutions out of business due to increased compliance and burden consumers with higher costs.

In 2017, AFP championed Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s Financial Choice Act 2.0 and in 2018 worked with lawmakers in the House and Senate to advance meaningful bipartisan reform.

AFP Praises House Resolve to Pass Dodd-Frank Reform (5/9/2018)

AFP Commends Chairman Hensarling for Commitment to Repealing Dodd-Frank’s Harmful Regulations Reform (5/2/2018)

AFP Commends Senate for Passing Dodd-Frank Relief Legislation (3/14/18)

AFP Issues Letter of Support for Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (3/5/2018)

AFP Issues Letter of Support for Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (3/5/2018)

AFP Pens Letter in Support of CHOICE Act (6/27/2017)

AFP Commends House Passage of Financial CHOICE Act 2.0 (6/9/2017)

AFP Talks Financial CHOICE Act with Rep. Jeb Hensarling (6/7/2017)

AFP Issues Coalition Letter of Support for the Financial CHOICE Act (4/26/2017)

Where Have All the Small Banks Gone? (8/25/2016)

For further information or to set up an interview, please send an email to [email protected].

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate. AFP has more than 3.2 million activists across the nation, a local infrastructure that includes 36 state chapters, and has received financial support from more than 100,000 Americans in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.AmericansForProsperity.org

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AFP Calls on House to Pass Right to Try

Arlington, VA – Americans for Prosperity today called on House lawmakers to pass right-to-try legislation expected to be voted on early this week. AFP announced it will be scoring the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act of 2017 (S. 204) on its congressional scorecard and is urging House members to vote “Yes.”

VIEW THE KEY VOTE ALERT HERE

In a key vote letter sent to Representatives Monday, AFP Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner highlighted the bipartisan support right-to-try has already earned, including from the forty state legislatures that have passed similar legislation of their own.

“When facing a life-threatening illness, many patients and their families are left with extremely limited options for treatment.  With a drug approval process that can take up to 15 years, and a restrictive and overly complicated Compassionate Use Program, the FDA forces millions of patients to spend precious time waiting for access to care they might need.  This Right to Try legislation, however, gives hope to those who need it most.

“Having already been approved in 40 states, Right to Try is a commonsense reform that eases the regulatory burden on terminally ill patients while giving them and their families hope.  Members should seize this opportunity to pass a federal reform by supporting this legislation.”

Background:

  • January: AFP and Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce launched a digital ad urging Congress to pass federal right-to-try legislation and issued a letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden calling for the committee to send the bill to the House floor for a full vote.
  • AFP and Freedom Partners also issued a memo on the need for federal right-to-try legislation.
  • February: The group called on activists to urge Rep. Walden and the House Energy and Commerce Committee to advance right-to-try legislation out of committee.
  • March: AFP thanked a bipartisan group of House lawmakers for supporting right-to-try.
  • April: AFP launched a six-figure TV and digital campaign calling on Congress to pass right-to-try legislation.

 

For further information or to set up an interview, please send an email to [email protected].

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate. AFP has more than 3.2 million activists across the nation, a local infrastructure that includes 36 state chapters, and has received financial support from more than 100,000 Americans in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.AmericansForProsperity.org

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Seattle-Based Businesses Push Back Against Job-Killing Head Tax

Earlier this week, Seattle’s city council voted unanimously for a harmful tax increase on businesses grossing $20 million a year.

Described as a “literal tax on jobs” and a “head tax,” under the new law, nearly 600 large Seattle companies, including Amazon and Starbucks, will be required to pay an annual tax of $275 per “head,” or full-time employees, for the next five years.

The Seattle city council stated its intention to use funds from the tax hike to pay for low-income housing and homeless services.

While well-intended, the policy is flawed and will ultimately hurt those it was intended to help. The tax increase will burden businesses and ultimately drive away future investors and job creators, leading to fewer jobs and opportunities for those who need them most.

Seattle-Based Businesses Fire Back

More than 100 business executives, entrepreneurs and investors responded with a letter opposing the tax, on the grounds that it would stifle future economic growth.

The group stated that the tax increase would send the message to businesses that “if you create too many jobs in Seattle, you will be punished.”

The head-tax plan also led Amazon to suspend construction on an expansion project in Seattle which would serve as an office for 7,000 employees, pending the city council’s decision.

Imposing a head tax punishes businesses for their success and discourages economic growth, hiring and future investment in the city. As the Seattle Times notes,

Amazon’s actions implied that the technology and commerce giant would add 7,000 fewer jobs in Seattle if the tax were implemented.

An economic-impact study commissioned by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce found that those 7,000 jobs represent $908 million in direct wages a year, hundreds of millions more in lost compensation for employees at businesses that sell to Amazon and reduced economic activity more broadly.

Amazon’s decision to push back against the city council’s tax hike did not go unnoticed. One union-backed activist group, Working Washington, responded to Amazon’s actions by comparing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to “a subprime mob boss lording it over a company town.”

In an extreme reaction, the progressive group then argued that Amazon should be charged with a felony and accused Amazon of violating a state law which makes it illegal to threaten politicians or public employees.

A Hostile Environment for Businesses
The Seattle city council’s head-tax plan originally called for businesses to pay $500 per employee annually, but after pushback from Amazon, Starbucks and other Seattle-based companies, the council reduced the proposed tax increase to $275.

After pausing its 17-story Block 18 expansion project until after the city council decision, Amazon ultimately decided to resume construction, but Amazon Vice President Drew Herdener stated,

We are disappointed by today’s City Council decision to introduce a tax on jobs. … While we have resumed construction planning for Block 18, we remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here.

Herdener also highlighted Seattle’s revenue growth over the past seven years, stating, “the city does not have a revenue problem – it has a spending efficiency problem.”

Starbucks Senior Vice president of Public Affairs and Social Impact John Kelly also criticized the tax and pointed to the city’s reckless spending, stating,

This City continues to spend without reforming and fail without accountability, while ignoring the plight of hundreds of children sleeping outside. If they cannot provide a warm meal and safe bed to a five-year-old child, no one believes they will be able to make housing affordable or address opiate addiction.

Seattle-based businesses recognize how detrimental the head tax will be, not only for their companies, but for the future economic climate in Seattle as a whole.

Head Tax Repealed in Chicago

The head tax has historically been a flop — and a nightmare for both businesses and consumers.

Chicago’s $4-per-employee head tax on employers with more than 50 full-time workers seems quaint when contrasted with Seattle’s $275 head tax. But for medium- to large-sized companies across Chicago, that $4-per-employee tax added up.

The head tax was in place from 1973 to 2012 and proved so detrimental to employers that it was eventually ended by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel called the head tax “a job killer,” stating in 2011 that “eliminating the head tax is the right thing to do for businesses big and small.” In 2012, the tax was reduced to $2 per employee and was repealed by 2014.

The Head Tax’s Impact in the Future

In the future, cities should look to cut spending rather than raise revenue through harmful and misguided policies like a head tax.

Rather than impose tax increases, lawmakers should support competitive, pro-growth policies that will foster innovation, competition and economic growth in their city or state.

In Seattle’s case, rather than help the poor find jobs, raising taxes on businesses will do the opposite by driving job-creators out of the city and discouraging future investment. Washington State has a unique advantage as a state with no income tax, but Seattle’s new head tax significantly undermines that benefit.

High state tax rates are already driving residents away from California and New York, which economists predict will lose millions of residents in the coming years.

Businesses react similarly when faced with high taxes and adverse economic conditions. Imposing massive new tax increases on businesses will ultimately lead to fewer jobs, fewer opportunities and stifled economic growth for everyday Americans.

Seattle businesses and workers will unfortunately pay the price for their local lawmakers’ foolish decision, but hopefully it will serve as a warning for leaders elsewhere to avoid making the same costly mistake.

Read more about Seattle’s new tax on businesses here.

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