Press Clips

The time has come for the Senate to tackle these NFIP reforms to ensure homeowners suffering from flood damage are not left hanging out to dry.
"The farm bill’s complexity makes it difficult to assemble a bipartisan coalition that can get it through the House – and cuts that make a Republican-only bill possible then founder in the Senate."
"Tax extenders reaffirmed themselves as the 'cockroaches of the Washington policy environment,' said Steve Ellis, vice president of nonpartisan budget watchdog organization Taxpayers for Common Sense. 'They seem to always survive.'”
"The farm bill’s complexity makes it difficult to assemble a bipartisan coalition that can get it through the House – and cuts that make a Republican-only bill possible then founder in the Senate."
"The legal pay-to-play creates a culture that invites corruption."
US News & World Report Mar 2, 2018
"Ten days after the release of the President's budget request, and already the Pentagon is asking for more."
US News & World Report Feb 28, 2018
A government committee meant to protect taxpayers is recommending huge gifts to the energy industry at the public's expense.
Bloomberg & BloombergQuint Feb 28, 2018
"Ryan Alexander, the president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, said the committee’s recommended changes appear to reflect the wishes of industry stakeholders -- not the broader public. A royalty rate decrease 'is likely to dramatically reduce revenue for taxpayers for decades to come without any guarantee of increased industry interest' or production."
“Just shoveling cash in to the Pentagon is recipe for waste going forward ....[In McCain’s absence] other lawmakers are going to have to step up.”
“[Industry] They’re the ones who should bear the greatest responsibility for building and maintaining them [locks and dams].”
"It seems more like a vanity project than a legitimate public relations move."
National Review Feb 20, 2018
"Oops. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. OCO are alive and well under Mulvaney’s watch. Taxpayers for Common Sense has this handy chart about the $69 billion OCO gimmicks"
“There are two main types of CHIMPs [changes in mandatory programs]: Those that rely on fake ‘paper savings’ to mask increased spending elsewhere in the federal budget and those resulting in meaningful funding cuts with real-world consequences, such as undermining underlying program goals and creating uncertainty and unpredictability.”
“Of course Congress can amend the structure and redirect it [the gas tax] in some infrastructure package ...But there are already those that complain gas tax dollars should just go to roads, not transit or bus or anything else. And the fact is it doesn’t generate enough revenue for the amount Congress already wants to spend!”
"Under this request the nation will accumulate more American debt - an additional $2 trillion in the first two years alone, and more than $7 trillion over 10 years."
The Washington Examiner Feb 12, 2018
“There have been commissions and panels over the years, but something has to give....If this is the way Congress wanders back from the budgetary wilderness, then great.” - Steve Ellis
"Ellis noted that in the 2005 highway bill, earmarks were based on position and power. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) got $1 billion in earmarks (including the Bridge to Nowhere), or 760 times the $13 million average that Ellis cited for rank and file members."
Orlando Sentinel Jan 30, 2018
"Reviving earmarking to fix budgeting is like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet hole."
Colorado Springs Gazette Jan 29, 2018
"We cannot afford to turn back the clock on methane waste; we must continue fighting for common sense federal rules that benefit both industry and taxpayers. Without the BLM methane rule, oil and gas companies' wastefulness will continue without consequence, and millions of dollars of taxpayer-owned natural gas will go up in flames."
New York Times Jan 26, 2018
"Earmarks sound like a quick fix, but bringing them back would relaunch a pay-to-play system that picks winners and losers based on political muscle rather than on project merit."
Politico Jan 24, 2018
"Many have noted that the absence of earmarks have made it harder to pass transportation bills, but Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, would like to remind everybody that earmarks are not 'some sort of magic pixie dust to move legislation.'"
"We know that without the BLM methane rule, methane waste will continue without consequence, and millions of dollars of taxpayer-owned natural gas will go up in flames."
The New York Times Jan 21, 2018
Mr. Trump has become such a Washington creature that he’s rooting for a return to earmarks, that opaque process in which legislators direct federal spending to their home districts and pet projects, like Republican Representative Don Young of Alaska’s failed “bridge to nowhere,” a plan to waste more than $300 million on a mammoth bridge to an Alaska island of 50 inhabitants.
The Boston Globe Jan 21, 2018
Few other congressional observers remember the late ’90s and early 2000s as any kind of Golden Age. “I don’t think people think of the Newt Gingrich years as when everyone got along so wonderfully,” said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense.
"All critical military functions will continue. ... There would be some wrinkles, but nothing like other areas of government."
"Once the money was appropriated and the earmark went out, there was no oversight to see did it actually go to that project? Did it actually do that? Congress is very lazy, in our opinion, about doing oversight and that's really their fundamental job."
"The big problem is that earmarks put political muscle over project merit," and that is not worth bringing back.
Fox News Jan 10, 2018
“Earmarks are not some sort of magic pixie dust that makes legislation go."
"I'm gonna say that if you're a wage earner and you're sitting next to someone who's doing the same thing you're doing and just paying less taxes because their job is structured differently on paper, I think you're just going to be mad."
CNN - The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer Dec 18, 2017
"It's definitely crazy to spend $22 million to research UFOs. Pilots are always going to see things that they can't identify, and we should probably look into them. But to identify them as UFOs, to target UFOs to research -- that is not the priority we have as a national security matter right now."
"Congress needs to do the hard work of making those difficult decisions, not ram through a terrible bill in the middle of the night."
Full Measure with Sharyl Atkisson Dec 3, 2017
"There are so many line items in the OCO account that simply aren't what the account's designed for. And that's important because Congress set limits for itself. And by pushing money out of those limits and into the Overseas Contingent Account, they're going around their own rules, they're circumventing the law."
"The Energy Department needs to stop ignoring the risk associated with the Vogtle project...It only puts us on a never-ending path of giving more financial support at the expense of federal taxpayers."
"“It’s basically lather, rinse, repeat,” Steve Ellis, the vice-president of the non-partisan group Taxpayers for Common Sense, recently told Politico."
""Every dollar invested in it in the future is going to continue to be a waste,” said Josh Sewell, a senior policy analyst with Washington-based Taxpayers for Common Sense."
FactCheck.Org May 24, 2017
"In a statement on Trump’s budget, Taxpayers for Common Sense President Ryan Alexander said, “These same growth projections are what the administration was counting on to pay for tax reform, but they’re not accounted for in here as such.”"
The Wall Street Journal Nov 13, 2016
"The tax breaks that Congress provides on income derived from or devoted to certain activities are designed to encourage that specific activity. But what they end up doing is distorting economic decision making and rewarding activity that would occur even without the special treatment."
U.S. News & World Report Nov 14, 2014
"As a country, we need Congress to live up to their responsibility of having the power of the purse – and to take on the larger set of choices contained in each bill rather than focusing on the provincial interests represented by earmarks. "
"Taxpayers for Common Sense seeks a balance of Republicans and Democrats on its board of directors, said Alexander, a seven-year board member before she became president in 2006."
"The nuclear energy industry. It had lobbied hard for $50 billion worth of federal loan guarantees for technologies that use little or no carbon — but saw it stripped from the package. Count environmental groups and the conservative Taxpayers for Common Sense as the victors here."
"...the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, is credited with naming the bridge. It started in 2002, he says, when he got a tip about a huge pork barrel project."
PolitiFact Sep 8, 2008
"The project came into national prominence when Taxpayers for Common Sense, an advocacy group that opposes wasteful spending, cited it as an extreme example of pork-barrel spending."