NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Getting Rid of Ineffective, Unnecessary Federal Spending

February 19, 2015

The Heritage Foundation has released a great report on ways to cut federal spending category by category. In fact, the report notes that over the last two decades, federal spending has grown a staggering 63 percent faster than inflation.

Reining in spending will require cuts in every sector -- from science to energy to agriculture to national defense to transportation and welfare. Here are a few of the report's suggestions on cutting spending on education, training, employment and social services:

  • Privatizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which funds services such as PBS or NPR, would save Americans $445 million every year. In 2012, 82 percent of spending on public broadcasting came from non-federal sources, and the report contends PBS and NPR could survive on their own without government funding.
  • Getting rid of the Job Corps would save Americans $19 billion over a decade. The program is intended to teach trade skills to youth, but a National Job Corps Study concluded that for every $25,000 that taxpayers invest in a single Job Corps participant, Corp participants were less likely to graduate from high school than their peers, were no more likely to attend or complete college and earned just 22 cents more in hourly wages compared to their peers, wasting taxpayer dollars.
  • Eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA and the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) would save Americans $3.2 billion over a decade. The report notes that private giving to the arts far outweigh federal funding (Americans gave $13.1 billion 2011 to the arts and humanities, compared to just $292 million from the NEA and NEH), and private philanthropy would be more than sufficient to support the arts.

The report calls cutting entitlement spending "the ultimate challenge," as half of all federal spending goes to just three programs: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Source: "The Budget Book: 106 Ways to Reduce the Size and Scope of Government," Heritage Foundation, February 2015.


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