by Diogo Costa
2010 is an important election year for Brazil, and Atlas’s Portuguese-language program, OrdemLivre.org, has been working with other free market organizations to bring national attention to the issue of tax reform. In May, Brazilians celebrated two major achievements towards this mission. While Hillary Clinton wants American taxation to become more like Brazil, OrdemLivre is fighting to make Brazil more like America.
TAX FREEDOM DAY, MAY 25th
The second annual National Tax Freedom Day on May 25th was a huge success. In order to draw public attention to Brazil’s burdensome tax legislation, OrdemLivre.org teamed up with 18 other organizations to sell tax-free gasoline in eight Brazilian cities. Consumers bought gasoline for 53.03% of the full price with the tax portion of their gas paid by the organizers. All the major news outlets covered the story, including Folha de Sao Paulo, O Globo, O Estado de S. Paulo, UOL, Terra, and Jornal Nacional.
From the Portuguese voiceover in the video: “Brazil’s government has announced a new record in revenues. In April, more than 70.9 billion Brazilian reais ($38 billion US) went to the government. Tax rates have been on the rise. In the 1970s, each Brazilian worked 2 months and 16 days per year to pay taxes. Today, they work 4 months and 25 days just to pay taxes.”
TAX AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
OrdemLivre.org has also been meeting with executives from Globo TV and a few other Brazilian organizations to develop a tax awareness campaign. Globo is the largest and most influential TV station in Brazil (third largest in the world behind CBS and NBC), reaching over 120 billion people daily. Its production team was able to transform OrdemLivre’s ideas into two splendid little public service announcements (PSAs). To illustrate how much Brazilians pay in taxes for everyday products, the films show scenes of daily activities being interrupted by a “state official”, who cuts or takes a part of the various products as they are being consumed. The PSAs will run soon in the station’s daily programming throughout Brazil.