NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Reducing the Pork in the Budget

March 20, 1997

Despite much talk of federal budget-cutting and balancing, there remains a vast reservoir of government programs which few would miss if they were axed tomorrow, according to Citizens Against Government Waste analysts.

  • Ending the ineffective Export Enhancement Program would save $2 billion over five years, and abolishing the Economic Development Administration would save another $927 million over that period.
  • Privatizing military commissaries would save $4.2 billion over five years, and $3.3 billion could be recaptured over five years by ending impact aid to school districts in areas of federal activity.
  • Other candidates for abolition and the five-year savings are: the Appalachian Regional Commission, $446 million; the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, $446 million; Community Development Block Grants, $14.4 billion; and the International Space Station Program, $9.1 billion.
  • The cost-conscious also recommend imposing a moratorium on federal government purchases of land -- since it already owns more than one-third of all U. S. lands, but spends $300 million a year to buy more.

Then there is the Davis-Bacon Act, which drives up federal construction costs by an estimated $2.5 billion for each five-year period.

Citizens Against Government Waste says cutting just these programs would save more than $200 billion over five years. But it has identified, altogether, 573 federal programs which if eliminated would result in a budget savings of over $1.3 trillion over five years.

Source: Perspective, "Cutting Pork," Investor's Business Daily, March 20, 1997.


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