NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

When Will They Ever Cut Government Spending?

March 24, 1999

This year's budget resolution being pasted up in Congress fails to mention by name even a single government program that should be eliminated. Budget analysts say this is a far cry from five years ago, when Republicans put forth a list of federal agencies, departments and programs which the country could do without.

Here is how the budgets of some of those Washington bureaucracies have put on weight from 1995 to 1999:

  • The Department of Commerce's budget has grown from $3.41 billion to $4.767 billion.
  • The Goals 2000 program's spending has risen from $231 million to $507 million.
  • Riches for the Economic Development Administration have shot from $350 million to $438 million.
  • Funding for the discredited bilingual education program has been elevated from $225 million to $351 million.

All these and many more were marked for extinction five years ago, advocates of smaller government point out. But last year, for example, the inflation-adjusted increase in domestic discretionary spending was the second largest in 21 years. Republicans in Congress have outspent the Clinton White House in two of the past three years.

Source: Stephen Moore (Cato Institute) and James Carter, "GOP Budget Still Geared for Spending," Washington Times, March 24, 1999.


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