The deadline has passed and the entries are in for REASON's First Quadrennial Waste, Fraud, and Abuse Contest. The result: a resounding vote of confidence in our elected spendthrifts and a set of predictions guaranteed to bring a smile to Tip O'Neill's lips.
You may recall that we announced the contest in our May issue. The object was to guess the administration's initial budget request for fiscal year 1989. First prize is two complimentary tickets to the Reason Foundation's 20th Anniversary Banquet, a swanky affair expected to be held in the spring of 1988. Second prize is the sheet music for "Hey, Big Spender."
The lowest estimate was submitted (well, not directly to us) by one Ronald Reagan, who took a stab in the dark and hit $1.26 trillion. The next most optimistic guess was nearly $100 billion more, and the bulk of the entries fell into the $1.5–1.7 trillion range. One particularly pessimistic (or realistic?) reader predicted a fiscal 1989 budget request of over $11 trillion. Does she know something we don't know?
Winners will be announced on April 15, 1988. You already know who the losers are going to be. Stay tuned.
Late in May, REASON author Jack Wheeler put into action an idea he's had—to bring together the leaders of the anti-Soviet guerrilla movements he's been reporting on over the past 18 months. Under the auspices of Citizens for America (CFA), Jack organized the world's first congress of these leaders, at Jamba, Angola, the site of a guerrilla camp. Among those addressing the meeting was CFA chairman Lew Lehrman. Sessions were scheduled on military tactics and fund-raising, among other topics. According to Newsweek, the event was arranged without the knowledge or approval of the State Department but with "tacit" White House endorsement.
Home schooling and the difficulties encountered by people who seek to educate their children at home was the subject of a REASON investigation several years ago ("Home Schooling: Up from Underground," April 1983). We have continued to monitor this field and are pleased to let you know of a useful new service if you are a home-schooler or are thinking about it. The Home Education Reporter is a service that monitors state compulsory education laws and regulations and keeps track of court cases. For $25, you can receive a complete assessment of the situation in your state, plus four quarterly updates. (If you want the complete 50-state package, it's $350.) The materials can be obtained from the Rutherford Institute, Box 510, Manassas, VA 22110.
Ayn Rand fans among REASON readers: According to a brief item in TV Guide, MGM and United Artists have a "dream project": a TV movie of Rand's novel The Fountainhead, starring Tom Selleck and Jaclyn Smith. TV Guide reported that agents for both stars confirmed that they have been approached, but so far neither has been signed up.