NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Programs Slated For Elimination Receive Record Funding Increases

August 15, 2000

The Republicans pledged to eliminate more than 200 government programs in their 1995 "Contract With America." But the combined budgets of the largest of 95 of those programs has increased by 13 percent over the past five years, according to a recent study from the Cato Institute.

Moreover, few of the programs Republicans targeted have been eliminated and spending has surged at the fastest clip in more than 20 years, the institute finds.

  • Total federal non-defense spending is projected to grow by 11 percent from 1999 to 2001 -- the largest increase since a 12 percent jump during the 95th Congress, which met during 1977-78.
  • Since 1995, Congress has approved increases of 162 percent for farm subsidies and 248 percent for AmeriCorps.
  • Funding for bilingual education is up 80 percent, and there has been a 112 percent jump for Goals 2000 funding.
  • At the cabinet level, the GOP has spent more on the Department of Education than President Clinton requested in two of the last three years.

"Congressional Republicans have been on a strange odyssey over the past five years," study authors Stephen Moore and Stephen Slivinski charge. "In 1995, they courageously tried to unplug, all at once, a multitude of federal programs that don't work or are counterproductive. Having lost that battle to Clinton during the government shutdown, the gun-shy GOP has concluded that it mustn't shoot at anything at all."

Source: Stephen Moore and Stephen Slivinski, "The Return of the Living Dead," Policy Analysis No. 375, July 24, 2000, Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001, (202) 842-0200.

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