CHRIS EDWARDS, CATO INSTITUTE
The Trump administration proposed privatizing the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) in its budget last year.
Cato has released a study discussing the PMAs and the advantages of privatization.
The federal government has been in the electricity business since in the mid-20th century. Over time it has become clear that government businesses lag private businesses in efficiency, innovation, and environmental performance. As such, there has been a global trend toward privatization, and many nations have sold their electricity assets.
A previous Cato study looked at privatizing the TVA.
It is time to level the playing field in the electricity industry with regard to taxation and regulation. Federal electricity assets should be privatized and subsidies ended for the rural electric cooperatives.
Chris Edwards is the director of tax policy studies at the CATO Institute and editor of www.DownsizingGovernment.org. He is a top expert on federal and state tax and budget issues. Before joining Cato, Edwards was a senior economist on the congressional Joint Economic Committee, a manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and an economist with the Tax Foundation.