NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Heritage Analysis: Appropriations Committee's Program Cuts

August 7, 1998

The House Appropriations Committee has recommended eliminating funding for some federal programs and reducing spending for others. These programs are wasteful, duplicative or no longer needed, say budget analysts.

For instance, the committee wants to eliminate funding for the Summer Youth Employment and Training Program -- funded under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). The summer jobs program will have spent $871 million in state block grants this fiscal year alone

Yet subsidized work experience has not been successful in improving the employability of youths once the subsidized job has ended, according to a report by then-Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich.

  • Reich said the graduation rates and grades of participants do not improve, and young girls in the program are just as likely to become pregnant as those that do not participate in the program.
  • Youth programs have no statistically significant effect on the average earnings of young females or their employment, but do have a large negative effect on the earnings of young males and no effect on their employment, concluded a national controlled scientific study of JTPA programs.
  • In addition to the summer jobs program, there are 19 other federal programs that focus directly on youth training and employment.

Another program the committee zeroed out is the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Since it was in the early 1980s, when energy prices were increasing rapidly, the U.S. has spent over $27.1 billion to pay heating and cooling bills for some low-income households . However, according to the Congressional Budget Office, fuel prices are up only about 25 percent since 1981, compared to an overall increase in prices of 70 percent.

The Appropriations Committee's recommended spending levels are included in the Labor-Health-Education Appropriations bill, which is before the U.S. House of Representatives.

Source: Mark Wilson, Nina H. Shokraii and Angela Antonelli, "Labor-Health-Education Appropriations: Eliminating Waste And Enhancing Accountability," Backgrounder No. 1212, August 7, 1998, Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002, (202) 546-4400.


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