NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

A New Budget-Balancing Plan

March 30, 1997

Federal budget analysts at the Heritage Foundation report they have found ways to bring the budget into balance without touching Social Security, without decimating Medicare and without forgoing tax cuts.

They report that they did so in less than two months simply by getting rid of government programs that are duplicative, unsuccessful or primarily benefit special interests.

  • Many of them were in the area of corporate welfare -- which the Congressional Budget Office estimates to have cost taxpayers $28 billion in 1995.
  • Within this category were agricultural research grants -- including $150,000 each for "aquaculture research," "fish-farming," and "peanut research;" along with $400,000 for "sugar cane research," and $100,000 for "poultry disease research."
  • Then there are below-market rate loans to businesses that the CBO says cost taxpayers $2.2 billion in 1995.
  • Add in the $90 million per year Market Access Program which subsidizes the sale overseas of products coming from such industry giants as Tyson Foods, M & M Mars and the E. & J. Gallo winery.

Critics say it is not economics, but politics, which keep these handouts going year after year -- not only dooming hopes of ever bringing spending in line with revenues, but delaying tax cuts as well.

Source: Scott Hodge (Heritage Foundation), "Quick Fixes for Fussbudgets," Washington Times, March 30, 1997.


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