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Two NGO's alert Argentine taxpayers
June 3, 2008
Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) and Fundación Friedrich A. von Hayek are the institutions that publish ''Burocratómetro: Un alerta al contribuyente argentino'' (Boureaucratometer: An alert to Argentine taxpayers), consistent on a survey of all law projects presented by legislators annually, and an analysis of which would mean an increase in public expense; and if such expense has been taken into account by legislators or if they just state that the funds will be taken from general federal revenues.

Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) and Fundación Friedrich A. von Hayek are the institutions that publish "Burocratómetro: Un alerta al contribuyente argentino" (Boureaucratometer: An alert to Argentine taxpayers), consistent on a survey of all law projects presented by legislators annually, and an analysis of which would mean an increase in public expense; and if such expense has been taken into account by legislators or if they just state that the funds will be taken from general federal revenues. This is a task that may seem easy at first glance, but a deep analysis of its material allows a good number of conclusions regarding the functioning and philosophy of our Legislative Branch.

According to Gabriel Salvia, co-author of "Burocratómetro" and Chairman of CADAL, "Argentine politicians expect to have a welfare state like that of Nordic countries with a rule of law more similar to the one in  Venezuela and in consequence they reverse priorities: giving great emphasis to redistribution and not improving the institutional quality of the country". And he adds: "This report alerts about the law projects which sanction would increase public expense, but at the same time it reflects the ideas prevailing among legislators".

On his behalf, Ricardo Manuel Rojas, Vice-Chairman of Fundación Friedrich A. von Hayek, highlights that "in these times the subject has a particular importance, when people perceives the voracious increase of taxes on cereal, oil and meat exports, announced by the government as a "distributive measure", that will harm millions of rural workers in benefit of the imagination of the legislators and power exchange".

The report shows that during the Legislative Period 2007, that is, from March 1, 2007 to February 29, 2008, national representatives and senators of Argentina presented 2425 law projects, of which 199 proposed and increase in federal public expense and 3 of them were approved as laws.