January 13, 2020 Print

Excessive government spending has been a hot topic in Argentina since Fundación Libertad, an Atlas Network partner, launched a creative public awareness campaign that revealed the extent of government waste. The campaign, which included a public spending app “Gastar o No Gastar” and informational papers regarding the issue, left politicians no room to justify additional government spending on their own salaries. Now, the Congress of Argentina is placing a freeze on all of its salaries for at least 180 days.

“We worked on a series of projects that showcased the effects and consequences of public spending,” explained Fundación Libertad’s director of legal research, Garrett Edwards. Despite the state of economic emergency in Argentina, many of these salaries are higher than similar positions in other countries.

Their new public spending app, “Gastar o No Gastar” (“To Spend or Not to Spend” in English), had a huge impact by providing the opportunity for Argentines to participate in the dialogue surrounding tax dollar expenditures while also improving the transparency of public spending throughout the country.

Fundación Libertad also gained additional traction when an article in one of the leading newspapers in Argentina, La Nación, used their work to explain how much every provincial legislature spent in their country. Edwards believes that Fundación Libertad’s media and research put public pressure on the government to continue reducing government waste.

“This is a sign that politicians are beginning to understand that they just cannot continue doing the things the way that they are doing them, and it is also a sign that the people will not stay idle with what is going on around them,” continued Edwards.

Two of the projects, including Gastar o no Gastar, came as the result of Atlas Network support. “Thanks to Atlas Network’s grants, Fundación Libertad was able to carry out important projects that showcased how public spending was one of the causes of Argentina’s fiscal deficit and its economic problems,” said Edwards. 

Fundación Libertad’s awareness campaign about government spending in Argentina has been supported by Atlas Network grants. Their work has been covered by La Nación [Millonario gasto en las legislaturas], Visión Liberal, CNN Radio, and ON24.