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Sen. Scott Brown to IRS: My Receipt, Please!

Monday, 16 Apr 2012 12:39 PM

By Greg McDonald

Sen. Scott Brown is using Tax Day to push for more transparency in government, particularly as it relates to how taxpayer money is being spent by the federal bureaucracy.

Saying it’s just “not right” that Americans must spend the first 107 days of each year working to finance government spending, the Massachusetts Republican wrote Monday in a Boston Herald op-ed piece that taxpayers should be given a full accounting and “a receipt” for how their cash is used.

“Americans are willing to pay to support vital services like national defense, roads, fire and police protection, education, and a safety net for the elderly and the poor,” Brown wrote. “What is intolerable is the hundreds of billions of dollars of our hard-earned money that is wasted on unnecessary programs, duplication, red tape, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.”

Brown called for “a top-to-bottom review of every federal program” to ensure each is necessary and being run efficiently. A bill he introduced last year called for the same thing, but it included a provision that would require the government to provide every taxpayer with a receipt showing how their money is spent and how much new spending each year adds to the national debt.

Brown, who surprised the political establishment in the 2010 special election by winning the seat long held by the late Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, also urged tax code reforms to make paying taxes fairer and simpler. But like most of his Republican colleagues, he drew the line at raising tax rates on the wealthy, or anybody else for that matter.

“The federal government has proven time and again that it is not a responsible steward of your tax dollars,” he said. “Until they start respecting the taxpayers’ dollars, we shouldn’t give them any more.”

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