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Press Release

For Immediate Release
Monday, June 2, 2008

An Open Letter to Congress

Taxpayers Oppose Title III of the Farm Bill

The Libertarian Party is one of 28 taxpayer groups to sign on to a National Taxpayers Union (NTU) letter to congress in opposition to Title III of the Farm Bill, which will cost Americans millions of dollars in wasteful spending.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the millions of taxpayers represented by our respective organizations, we write in opposition to Title III of the Farm Bill. The clerical errors that resulted in Title III being left out of the Farm Bill language vetoed by the President present a second chance for Members to demonstrate a small semblance of fiscal responsibility. We ask you to vote against Title III should it come to the floor for consideration.

While many of the undersigned organizations opposed the Farm Bill in its entirety because it failed to reform wasteful crop subsidies and doled out taxpayer dollars to special interests, we believe that Title III is worthy of rejection on its own. Here are just some of the section's objectionable spending and trade provisions:

  • Spends $200 million annually for the Market Access Program and extends the Foreign Market Development Program. These wasteful programs are a blatant source of corporate welfare. Taxpayers shouldn't be footing the bill for crop manufacturers and food processors to market their goods abroad.
  • Imposes a "U.S. Importer Declaration Program" on the timber trade that is little more than a sop to domestic logging interests who want to keep out low-cost products from international competitors. The practical outcomes of this misguided policy could include increased housing costs.
  • Requires USAID to make a contribution of up to $60 million over the next five years to a doomsday "seed bank" in Norway. The federal government's massive overspending problem is a much more immediate threat to the United States' well-being.
  • Provides $84 million in mandatory funding for the McGovern-Dole food program in 2009. Many taxpayers object to sending their hard-earned dollars abroad when recipient countries could be doing much more to promote domestic economic reforms that would lessen the demand for aid.
  • Includes a $60 million pilot program to evaluate local procurement of international food aid while at the same time loosening the cap on funds used to transport U.S. food aid for storage overseas.
  • Mandates a "safe box" that directs money (beginning at $375 million in 2009 and reaching $450 million in 2012) meant for food aid to more general development purposes.

Members of Congress who value taxpayer rights have few reasons to support these provisions. Please take a stand for the people who pay the government's bills and work to defeat Title III of the Farm Bill.

Sincerely,

Duane Parde
National Taxpayers Union

Andrew Quinlan
Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Tom Schatz
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

William Westmiller
Republican Liberty Caucus

Pat Toomey
Club for Growth

William Redpath
Libertarian Party

Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

Dane vonBreichenruchardt
U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation

Matt Kibbe
FreedomWorks

Jim Babka
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

Jeffrey Mazzella
Center for Individual Freedom

Jon Coupal
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Lew Uhler
The National Tax Limitation Committee

John Hallman
Florida Taxpayers Union

Thomas McClusky
Family Research Council

Kevin McLaughlin
Iowans for Discounted Taxe

Karl Peterjohn
Kansas Taxpayers Network

Jerry Cantrell
New Jersey Taxpayers Association

Brett Gaspard
Kentucky Taxpayers Union

Ben Cunningham
Tennessee Tax Revolt

Dee Hodges
Maryland Taxpayers Association

Richard Rider
San Diego Tax Fighters (CA)

Phil Krinkie
Taxpayers League of Minnesota

Bud Miller
Alexandria Taxpayers United (VA)

Tom Martz
Missouri Liberty Coalition

Joan Falcone
Taxpayers Association of Brandywine (PA)

Doug Kagan
Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom

Richard Parins
Brown County Taxpayers Association (WI)