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Latham compares government to business

WASHINGTON – US Representative from Iowa Tom Latham last week compared government to business, and said government should be more responsive:

Finding smarter ways to deliver good services and products is the American tradition. Henry Ford did it with the automobile assembly line and Steve Jobs did it with the home computer.

If they want to be successful, businesses do not have the luxury of being inefficient. We expect this of our employers, ourselves, so why wouldn’t we expect this same standard of our government? This week the Republican led U.S. House of Representatives debated and approved a number of common sense measures that protect hardworking taxpayers and their tax dollars with smarter approaches to government.

My service to Iowans in Congress has been built upon a foundation of my belief that we must always be looking for ways to identify and cut waste – and find better ways to solve problems and deliver services. Measures we considered and approved this week further build on that foundation through transparency and common sense.

We protected the property rights of hardworking taxpayers from the growing abuse of eminent domain powers being used by state and local governments. The Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 1944) gives landowners standing against the use of eminent domain being used to take private property and giving it to another private entity.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has for too long operated in intrusive ways to individual taxpayers. We approved legislation this week that requires the IRS to tell taxpayers when they share their personal information with another government agency. We also place a time limit on how long an individual can be subjected to an IRS Audit in the Taxpayer Transparency and Efficient Audit Act (H.R. 2350). Our legislation will prevent the IRS from inquiring about an individual’s religious, political, or social beliefs in the Protect Taxpayers from Intrusive IRS Requests Act (H.R. 2531).

We also approved he Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act (H.R. 1423) which requires federal agencies to provide the American people with an annual report card on all of its programs, detailing administrative costs and staffing information, expenditures for services, and the number of recipients in each program that agency administers . This bill gives taxpayers a transparent, no nonsense report so that individuals can decide for themselves if an agency is effectively serving the people who pay their bills.

While this may be my final year representing my Iowa neighbors in Congress, I will fight until my last day in Washington to do my part to make our federal government smarter, less wasteful, more responsive and transparent to and for all the people. Iowans expect this of ourselves and we should demand the same of our government.

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