More and more people agree—local governments should not spend public money to hire registered lobbyists to push for higher taxes, more spending, and bigger government at the statehouse.
The latest organization to join the club seeking to ban lobbying funded by tax money is Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a nonprofit advocacy group founded at the request of President Ronald Regan. In a recent letter to Speaker Phelan and the Texas House of Representatives, ATR made it plain:
“It’s no secret that millions of taxpayer dollars are spent every session on contract lobbyists, many of whom advocate against taxpayer interests by lobbying for higher taxes and new spending. It’s time to put a stop to this inexcusable use of taxpayer dollars…” [emphasis mine]
This moment in which lobbying with tax dollars is being highlighted on the national stage marks a critical juncture—not only because ATR is a powerful advocacy organization with a large audience, but also because Texas policy matters. As America’s most populous conservative stronghold, the Lone Star State, in large part, sets the tone for legislation pitched and passed in other states. Provided the Texas Legislature can get it right on this issue, then other state legislatures will likely follow our example and make the nation a more perfect union.
Texas is poised to lead the nation on sound public policy. A ban on lobbying with tax dollars will inspire statehouses across the nation to pursue their own similar legislative proposals to push back against a practice that facilitates big government and deprives taxpayers of their voices. There is no time like the present, we must seize this moment and render lobbying using tax money extinct.