NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Five Candidates For Extinction

October 11, 2000

Hundreds of federal programs could be easily eliminated without imperiling the Union, according to the Cato Institute's Doug Bandow. Five of them should be sent packing right now.

Have you ever heard of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission? Probably not, because its budget is "only" $2 million a year. But with the U.S. and Japan having been close allies for a half-century -- and with businessmen, entertainers, athletes, diplomats and soldiers constantly shuttling between the two countries -- what possible contribution could it be making?

Here are the four others Bandow would do away with:

  • The Export-Import Bank doles out more than $40 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance to foreign governments and companies to buy U.S. exports -- but University of Arizona economist Herbert Kaufman estimates that every $1 billion in federal loan guarantees crowds out as much as $1.32 billion in private investment.
  • With venture capitalists pouring a record $37.3 billion into young companies last year, who needs the Small Business Administration -- which supports less than 2 percent of the 800,000 new businesses created every year?
  • Over the past 35 years, the Appalachian Regional Commission has poured more than $7.4 billion into 406 counties in the Appalachian region -- but with unemployment there hovering at about 4.8 percent over the past decade, the program has outlived whatever usefulness it may once have had.
  • The $5-billion-a-year Community Development Block Grants program is nothing but a candy jar for politicians -- and taxpayers should wave it bye-bye.

Source: Doug Bandow (Cato Institute), "Congress: Here Are Five Items that Must Go," Fortune, October 16, 2000.


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