• Citizen Outreach joins coalition to repeal FATCA

    (Washington, D.C.) – A coalition of 23 taxpayer protection and grassroots organizations sent a letter today urging Congressional leadership to include repeal of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) as part of comprehensive tax reform. Co-authored by the Center for Freedom and Prosperity and the Campaign to Repeal FATCA, the letter highlights the path of destruction that FATCA has carved through the international financial sector.

    Link to Repeal FATCA letter:

    The letter makes 5 key points: 1) FATCA fails in its primary goal to catch wealthy tax cheats; 2) It ensnares innocent Americans with excessive reporting requirements and draconian penalties for the slightest oversights; 3) It makes U.S. citizens living and working abroad toxic assets in the eyes of both financial institutions and employers; 4) Its compliance costs far outstrip the revenue it collects; and 5) It encourages other nations and international organizations to pursue aggressive tax grabs that threaten American businesses and the global economy.

    Several signers of the letter and other tax experts offered the following comments on FATCA:

    CF&P President Andrew Quinlan
    commented, “It’s time to turn the page on this failed experiment in global financial surveillance. Congress should acknowledge the overwhelming evidence which shows that low, pro-growth tax rates and a simplified tax code are the proven ways to encourage greater tax compliance. America, and the world, will be better off without FATCA.”

    Dan Mitchell, a Cato Institute Senior Fellow, noted, “FATCA arguably is the worst provision in the entire tax code, undermining U.S. competitiveness and setting the stage for foreign attempts to tax activity in the United States.”

    Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, said, “FATCA is the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for Americans overseas–an intrusive, complicated, painful and unfair tax regime designed to be massive overkill in hunting for coins between the cushions. We are finally abolishing AMT–after 48 years–in Trump’s tax reform package. We should put FATCA to sleep at the same time.”

    Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group, said, “Every government has a right to see its laws enforced and tax evasion investigated and prosecuted. That’s not what FATCA does, though. It has punished everybody, innocent as well as guilty, and consumers and taxpayers worldwide. It’s a windfall for the compliance industry and no one else. Repeal FATCA!”

    Pete Sepp, President of the National Taxpayers Union, said, “Comprehensive tax reform legislation is critical not only for what it enacts, but also for what it repeals. One item that should be a top priority on the repeal agenda is FATCA, an uneconomic, unadministrable, and unfair law. Our people and businesses abroad are being increasingly harassed by other countries’ ravenous revenue collectors, and FATCA only provides political fodder for foreign tax agencies to lean harder on those Americans. But even without this factor, FATCA would be problematic for our competitive position abroad by freezing U.S. small businesses out of banking and financial resources overseas. FATCA is a failure, and tax reform can put an end to this misery.”

    David Williams, President of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, said, “Repealing FATCA is critical to preserving the financial privacy of U.S. citizens, which we’ve seen eroded by federal agencies like the Internal Revenue Service. The repeal of FATCA will also help to preserve and strengthen the financial freedoms and choices of all Americans.

    Brian Garst, Director of Policy and Communications for CF&P, added, “America ought to be ashamed for inflicting FATCA upon the world. The only respectable option now is to repeal FATCA and beg forgiveness.”

    Representatives of the following 23 organizations signed the coalition letter:
    Center for Freedom and Prosperity; Campaign to Repeal FATCA; Americans for Tax Reform; National Taxpayers Union; American Commitment; Taxpayers Protection Alliance; Competitive Enterprise Institute; Frontiers of Freedom; R Street Institute; 60 Plus Association; The Market Institute; FreedomWorks; Center for Individual Freedom; Sovereign Society Freedom Alliance; Institute for Liberty; Institute for Policy Innovation; The National Tax Limitation Committee; Americans for Limited Government; Citizen Outreach; National Center for Policy Analysis; Campaign for Liberty; Jeffersonian Project; Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

  • PROMESA Promises Made, Not Being Kept by Puerto Rico

    MARCH 20, 2017

    (Las Vegas, NV) – Today Citizen Outreach submitted a letter to Congressman Mark Meadows and members of the House Freedom Caucus expressing concern over failures by Puerto Rico’s government to live up to requirements outlined in the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA).

    The full letter is below and can be found here.

    March 20, 2017

    Honorable Mark Meadows
    1024 Longworth HOB
    Washington, DC 20515

    Representative Meadows,

    I write you today on behalf of my organization, Citizen Outreach, to share our concern about the actions of Puerto Rico’s government in carrying out the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act.

    As you are aware, PROMESA was passed last year in an effort to stabilize the island territory’s economy and help it regain access to the capital markets, from which it has been locked out following a default on its senior-most creditors in 2016.

    Importantly, during lengthy discussions over the bill last year, Congressional leaders were clear that the bill was not intended as a bailout of the Commonwealth, nor was it intended to give the Puerto Rican government license to “cram down” on its creditors without regard for the law.

    Rather, PROMESA was intended to create a framework for orderly, consensual negotiations with creditors and to facilitate the reformation of the Commonwealth’s bloated government.

    Unfortunately, the Commonwealth’s government has thus far not lived up to its end of the bargain. In the more than eight months that have elapsed since the bill was signed into law, Puerto Rico has yet to conduct any negotiations with creditor groups.

    In fact, Governor Ricardo Rossello has announced publicly that he will ask Congress to amend the law to provide for yet another extension of its stay on litigation – which expires on May 1st – having already been extended once for a period of 75 days.

    Moreover, the island has violated the spirit and letter of PROMESA in its recently certified fiscal plan. Section 201 of PROMESA makes clear that the fiscal plan must “respect the relative lawful priorities or lawful liens, as may be applicable, in the constitution, other laws, or agreements of a covered territory or covered territorial instrumentality.”

    But the certified plan does not abide by this provision. Rather it elevates numerous interests above creditors, including its constitutionally-protected General Obligations bonds.

    The plan fails to make any serious spending or pension reforms, and instead directs almost 95% of the Commonwealth’s revenues to expenditures other than debt service, incredibly deeming all of these expenses to fall under the purview of “essential services.”

    The Commonwealth’s failure to abide by PROMESA, and its insistence on rebuffing creditors’ attempts at negotiation in favor of a costly and deeply-adversarial bankruptcy proceeding, is especially troubling given Governor Rossello’s commitment to seeking statehood for the territory.

    States do not willfully violate federal law, and Puerto Rico would have to demonstrate a willingness to act accordingly if it were to move toward statehood.

    Ahead of this week’s House Natural Resources Committee hearing on Puerto Rico, Citizen Outreach urges you to look into the Puerto Rican government’s compliance with the law.


    Chuck Muth

    – 30 –

    Citizen Outreach is a non-profit, non-partisan grassroots lobbying organization which promotes limited-government public policies and legislation

  • Group wants Las Vegas council to put trash contract up for bid

    (Nicole Raz | Las Vegas Review-Journal) – A citizens group launched a petition Wednesday urging the Las Vegas City Council to put its waste-hauling contract out for public bid.

    Republic Services of Southern Nevada is currently the only waste-management company allowed to handle residential trash in the city of Las Vegas — and has been since at least 1985. Four years before the company’s current exclusive franchise agreement is set to expire, Republic is negotiating with the city for an additional 12-year contract extension.

    “If they are going to issue another monopoly franchise, it should at least be put out for an RFP (Request for Proposal),” said Chuck Muth, president of Citizen Outreach, a grassroots advocacy organization focused on limited government public policy issues.

    “Ideally, they would open up the market completely,” he said. “The odds of that happening, we know, it’s a longshot. That’s why we at least want to force Republic to bid on it like everybody else.”

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  • Citizen Outreach Prez Goes Toe-to-Toe with Battle Born Progress Director

    Citizen Outreach President Chuck Muth squares off with Annette Magnus of Battle Born Progress on KLAS-TV’s “Face Off” program discussing President Donald Trump’s speech to Congress, illegal immigration, parental school choice and the Equal Rights Amendment.

  • Chuck Muth Interview on The Ed Bernstein Show

    Original air date February 5, 2017.