Congress

All's Fair in Welfare?

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Both the White House and Congress made noise about cutting back "corporate welfare" in 1995. But neither has delivered much, says a new study from the Cato Institute.

The study identifies dozens of giveaways to corporate interests. Such spending adds up to $65 billion a year, most of it concentrated in agriculture, exports, high tech, and energy. It includes such items as helping car companies develop new vehicles, selling federally produced electricity at below-market rates to ski resorts, and paying food corporations subsidies for foreign advertising.

The study focuses on 55 specific programs, which cost $37.7 billion in fiscal 1996. The 1997 budget increases spending on those programs by half a billion, after some cuts from 1995 to 1996, for total two-year cuts of only 13 percent. The study is available at www.cato.org/pubs/briefs/bp_028es.html.