Sandra Fabry

ATR Opposes Automobile Bailout

Posted by Sandra Fabry on Monday, November 17th, 2008, 11:23 AM PERMALINK

November 17, 2008

To: Members of the U.S. Congress
Re: Opposition to Automobile Bailout

Dear Member of Congress:

I write to urge you to reject any legislative proposal that would use taxpayer dollars to prop up Detroit automobile manufacturers. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, have long operated under an unsustainable business model, and are in dire need of restructuring to stand a chance of becoming profitable again.

Just like the $25 billion bailout package in the form of loans passed earlier this summer, an additional bailout package for these companies does nothing to address the underlying problems they are facing.

Years of poor management decisions have left the former “Big Three” handcuffed by imprudent deals with the UAW, resulting in exorbitantly high legacy labor costs requiring them to pay roughly $20 to $30 more per hour on labor than their competitors. This burden is compounded by unaffordable employee pension and health-benefits plans. Failure to make structural changes and adapt to market realities over the last few decades have only compounded the problem, and high fuel prices and the economic slowdown this year were merely the final nail into the coffin.

At a time when taxpayers are already on the hook for a series of government bailouts, Congress must not allow the perpetuation of “moral hazard.” The recent string of interventions into the free market system has already set our country on a dangerous and treacherous path.

The idea that a government bailout can increase wealth is equivalent to the idea that you can take a bucket of water out of one side of a lake, walk to the other side of the lake and call a press conference to watch you pour the water back into the lake and announce your successful project to raise the water level of the lake. A taxpayer-funded bailout for Detroit automakers will only serve to maintain the untenable status quo, and delay the inevitable.

Rather than bailing out Detroit automakers with more taxpayer dollars, Congress should give these companies the opportunity to restructure under Chapter 11 by denying their request for a federal handout. This would allow them to free themselves from the grip of the labor unions and allow them to make the long overdue structural changes.
I urge you to oppose and vote against a bailout of the unionized automobile industry on the backs of American taxpayers.

Grover Norquist

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Louisiana Taxpayers, Please Welcome "LaTrac"

Posted by Sandra Fabry on Friday, November 14th, 2008, 11:34 AM PERMALINK


 Louisiana Taxpayers, Please Welcome “LaTrac”
Taxpayer group salutes transparency in government spending à la Louisiane
Washington, D.C. – The Center for Fiscal Accountability congratulates Gov. Bobby Jindal and his administration in Louisiana on the launch of their transparency portal LaTrac. The website, which was officially launched on Wednesday, November 12 in the presence of LSU officials, faculty, staff, and students in the “SMART Lab” of Patrick F. Taylor Hall on LSU’s Baton Rouge campus.
LaTrac gives taxpayers a chance to sort through state expenditures, drilling down on expenditures for the current year and aggregates for previous years. Users can organize the data by department or agency and then view breakdowns into subcategories including funding source, and type of services provided. LaTrac also includes spending data for the state’s higher education system.
“Gov. Jindal really prioritized  transparency and fiscal responsibility when he issued the executive order as one of the first acts in office and worked with the legislature to pass legislation,” said Sandra Fabry, executive director for the Center for Fiscal Accountability. “Louisiana taxpayers will greatly benefit from greater transparency in government spending, which LaTrac sets out to deliver.”
The launch of LaTrac makes Louisiana the 8th state to launch a spending transparency website created through executive order and/or legislative action since the passage of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, which led to the creation of A total of 12 states have passed spending transparency legislation in the past two years, and several governors and state constitutional officers have taken their own steps to increase accountability through transparency in government spending. For more information please visit,
 “Louisiana’s launch of LaTrac is a big step toward full accountability in government spending.” continued Fabry. LaTrac is an excellent start to empower Louisiana taxpayers, and we look forward to the scheduled improvements of the site. Congratulations to the Jindal adminstration, and, quite frankly, to Louisiana taxpayers, who may have just got an early Christmas present, as more accountability means less potential for fraud, waste and abuse in government finance.”


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