The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

Downsize Government, Unleash Capitalism

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Cato has a new website – http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/ – that recommends specific cuts to federal agency budgets, including Agriculture, Transportation and Education. Not every agency is yet available, but the Department of Defense is up next.

Here are some of the cuts they recommend:

Agricultural Subsidies. As even the Washington Post acknowledges, many of these payments are being made to relatively well-off farmers who don’t need the money. (To see who’s getting such subsidies in South Carolina, read this Nerve story.) Savings: $10 billion to $30 billion a year.

Head Start. Notes Cato, “An authoritative HHS report on Head Start in 2010 conceded that the program produced few if any long-term benefits to participating children.” Further analysis of the report can be found here. Savings: $7 billion a year.

Alternative Energy Subsidies.  This entails taxpayer-funded research on hydrogen, solar, wind and other alternative energy sources.  As Cato argues, “Federal energy research should be phased-out as an unneeded cost in an era of massive government budget deficits. The private sector is entirely capable of performing research into coal, nuclear, solar, and alternative energy sources for itself.” Savings: $1.5 billion a year.

Taking the federal government’s lead, it’s no surprise South Carolina is funding many of the same initiatives, including hydrogen research and questionable day care programs. Instead of raising taxes next year to sustain such spending, state lawmakers should downsize government and unleash capitalism.

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Written by Jameson Taylor

October 21, 2010 at 9:59 am

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