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Annual Privatization Report 2013

BCFC Outlines $795 Billion in Federal Budget Savings

Subsection of Annual Privatization Report 2013: Federal Government Privatization

Adam Summers
April 15, 2013

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BCFC Outlines $795 Billion in Federal Budget Savings 

By Adam Summers

As Congress was wrangling with the “fiscal cliff” and “sequestration” budgetary debates at the end of 2012, the Business Coalition for Fair Competition (BCFC), a national coalition of businesses, taxpayer groups, and think tanks that seeks to reduce unfair government competition with the private sector to provide goods and services, issued a proposal in December 2012 containing a list of federal budget cost savings measures totaling $795 billion.

According to an open letter listing the potential savings from the BCFC to the president and congressional leaders,  “The federal government can achieve $795 billion in savings simply by getting out of activities that duplicate or compete with the private sector, which subsidize unfair competition with private, for-profit companies, or by privatizing activities for which there are current or potential providers.1

Among the 33 recommendations contained in the BCFC letter are the following:

The BCFC also suggests implementing the many recommendations of the Reagan administration’s 1988 President’s Commission on Privatization. That report also recommended privatizing the Postal Service, Amtrak, and military commissaries. In addition, the Commission recommended:

The organization argues that its recommendations will help to reduce the federal budget deficit and place a stronger focus on the government’s core duties and functions without increasing taxes or decreasing services.

While Congress ultimately decided to increase some taxes (the payroll tax “holiday” was allowed to expire as scheduled, and individuals earning over $400,000 a year will see increased income, capital gains and estate taxes) while preserving others at their previous rates, the issue of government spending was postponed for at least a couple of months until the government comes up against the current debt ceiling. Thus, spending reduction and cost savings proposals such as the BCFC’s are likely to yet again be the subject of hot debates in the near future.

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Endnotes

1 John M. Palatiello, “Business Coalition Letter to Congressional Leadership Identifying $795 Billion in Budget Savings for Fiscal Cliff Negotiations,” Business Coalition for Fair Competition, December 10, 2012, http://governmentcompetition.org/uploads/BCFC_Letter-Budget_Savings_List_for_Fiscal_Cliff-12-10-2012.pdf (retrieved January 24, 2013).

2 Adam Voge, “Once center of scandal, ‘Teapot Dome’ oil field prepped for sale,” Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, March 4, 2013, http://trib.com/business/energy/once-center-of-scandal-teapot-dome-oil-field-prepped-for/article_5d3f7c75-bbc1-5de5-8762-6971630b0213.html (retrieved March 6, 2013).

3 David F. Linowes, ed., Privatization: Toward More Effective Government, Report of the President’s Commission on Privatization (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1988), http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNABB472.pdf (retrieved March 6, 2013).


Adam Summers is Senior Policy Analyst


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