Tags: npr | natinal | public | radio

Defund NPR of Taxpayer Money

Tuesday, 11 Jan 2011 09:50 AM

By Richard Rahn Newsmax

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Do you think your tax dollars should be used to fund organizations that advocate higher taxes on American citizens? Well, that is exactly what has been happening.

The new Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in addition to reducing big, wasteful and unnecessary spending, also needs to go after and defund those programs and activities that are downright destructive.

Some Republicans are already introducing bills to either partially or fully take away the taxpayer funding to National Public Radio (NPR). NPR claims that federal funding is only 2 percent of its budget, but the indirect taxpayer subsidy through affiliate stations is about 20 percent of its budget.

NPR has abused this privileged position for years by serving as a mouthpiece for those who advocate more government spending and higher taxes — all of which have served to undermine American prosperity and job creation.

Americans who desire to listen to the voices of the left already have MSNBC, most of the major networks and most large-city newspapers. NPR will not go out of business without taxpayer subsidies because many left-wingers such as George Soros will continue to pour money into its activities.

Taxpayers should not be coerced into paying one dime to support NPR propaganda.

The Obama administration is claiming it wants to focus on job-creating programs. But at the same time, its own agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Treasury Department, are developing rules that will destroy basic privacy rights and undermine the ability of the private sector to create jobs.

While the EPA's efforts to derail energy production and the opening of new manufacturing plants have generated considerable press and pledges from the Republicans to try to stop them, the Treasury Department just last week revived a highly destructive Clinton-era proposal.

Specifically, President Obama's Treasury Department has proposed overturning existing law, which will force American banks to report to foreign governments the interest paid to all nonresident foreign citizens.

The Internal Revenue Service admitted it has no use for this information, but the effect of the proposed regulation will likely drive hundreds of billions of dollars of needed foreign investment out of the U.S. economy, thus destroying many American jobs.

Foreigners have passively invested $10.6 trillion in the American economy. For the U.S. government to needlessly put some of this at risk is both foolhardy and mean-spirited to all of those who are seeking jobs.

Well-known Cato Institute tax economist Daniel J. Mitchell, noted, "The IRS has failed to perform the cost-benefit analysis required by Executive Order 12866, and the IRS is acting in violation of current law, which is designed to attract foreign capital to the American economy."

Mitchell also noted, "This proposed regulation also is a threat to human rights and civil liberties since many oppressed people around the world place their assets in American financial institutions to guard against persecution, expropriation, and other forms of abuse by thuggish governments."

The new Republican House should deny any Treasury and IRS funding necessary to carry out this illegal, job-killing rule-making. A failure to do so would indicate that the Republicans are as oblivious as the Democrats when it comes to stopping the impediments to economic growth, job creation, and individual liberty.

For decades, U.S. taxpayers have been funding international organizations that promote policies contrary to both U.S. interests and the financial well-being of the United States. There have been many exposes of United Nations activities in this regard.

What is not so well known is that the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has increasingly become a propaganda arm of high-tax governments like France and the international bureaucratic class that lives off of, and benefits from, bigger government.

Originally, the OECD was established to promote economic cooperation and trade among the developed countries and to provide useful economic statistics. However, in recent years, the OECD has devoted more resources and energy to advocating higher taxes and more government spending in the United States and elsewhere (which is particularly ironic since the OECD bureaucrats enjoy tax-free salaries and perks).

The economic policies the OECD pushes would reduce U.S. economic growth, job creation and individual liberty, and thus there is no reason U.S. taxpayers should be funding an organization that would make them poorer and less free.

The Republicans will have an opportunity to strike the U.S. funding (which accounts for about a quarter of the OECD budget) when the existing continuing budget resolution expires in March.

Those who promote larger government and its oppressive tax, spending, and regulatory actions will only be stopped when the representatives of taxpayers are willing to take away their tax-free salaries and high living.

Will the new Republican House have the guts to do so? Or will it be business as usual?

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC

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