Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

03 July 2008

1776 Federal Subsidy Programs

No, this is not a post on the Federal Subsidy Programs in place in the great year of 1776, one of whose chief events, the Declaration of Independence, we are going to celebrate tomorrow.
How ironic that the nation that rebelled over an issue of minuscule taxation, much of whose proceeds supported and subsidized an aristocracy, has been found to have 1776 federal subsidy programs in 2007. Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy Studies of the Cato Institute published a record of federal subsidy programs since 1970 in a Tax and Budget Bulletin called "Number of Federal Subsidy Programs is Soaring," which covered programs through late 2006. He has just updated the count for 2007 and made that result available in "Independence in 1776 to Dependence on 1776."

These subsidies have state governments, businesses, non-profit groups, and individuals as beneficiaries. Edwards counted the subsidy programs by examining the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, which lists all federal aid and subsidy programs, including grants, loans, insurance, scholarships, and much more.

If you examine the chart by Chris Edwards, there was an increase of programs of 11% from 1975 to 1980, most of this period being the Carter presidency. From 1980 to 1985, President Reagan remarkably cut the number of subsidies by 10%, but by 1990 they had grown in number by 16%. From 1990 to 2000, the number grew 21%. Under President Bush, they grew from 1,425 in 2000 to 1776 in 2007. This is a 25% increase. President Bush's reluctance to use the veto and his lack of commitment to reducing the size and power of government has had direful consequences!


miss breeziness said...

Oh boy, I sympathize. It's just as bad in New Zealand. Especially with our current leftist government.

Thankfully, people are now sick and tired of them and I think they'll definitely lose the next election.

Here's a list of all "our" government departments. It's crazy.

Charles R. Anderson said...

New Zealand and the U.S. seem to be beating out of phase. You may be about to decrease the degree of socialism, while we may be about to suffer a further worsening of socialism. Apparently, a lot of people believe that socialism and global warming alarmism are the "Change you can believe in."

miss breeziness said...

Oh, I do hope both our countries are better off in the next election! Although I don't like the look of any of the major candidates. Here or in the US.

I hope you are right and "we" have a lessening degree of socialism.

Actually, there are two candidates I like. One is Ron Paul. (I like his official policies, although not the way he sometimes acts.) The other is his equivalent here in NZ, the ACT party. Who isn't getting many votes either.

Charles R. Anderson said...

Quickly, because I am supposed to be sleeping before hitting the road:

Ron Paul has a serious problem. He has a severe tendency to over-simplify almost any issue and to misapply the principles he claims to be using. He frequently is wrongheaded. He is rather like the Pauli effect, the great theoretical physicist who no physicist wanted to enter his lab. When he did, everything fell apart. Not that Ron Paul is a great theoretician, but he thinks he is.

There was an article about Ron Paul in The New Individualist a while back. You might read it. I admit I did not, because I had had numerous discussions with some of his congressional aides and demolished the arguments they learned from their hero, Ron Paul.

miss breeziness said...

Oh, I'm definitely not saying he's perfect. Nobody is. I don't agree with everything ACT does either, but I'd rather have them than what is there right now.

I suppose I'm just a sucker for libertarian politics in general. :) However, I have heard some pretty bad things about Paul personally. Bob Barr isn't that good from what I hear, either.

The trouble with politicians is that most of the time, none of them are ideal. Or even anything close to it. So you only hope to do "damage control" with whatever vote you place.

I mean, remember when Leonard Peikoff voted for John Kerry? (I'm not out to question whether it was the right decision, I only mentioned this as an example of voting for someone you find less than ideal to prevent what you see as even greater damage.)

Charles R. Anderson said...

The bit I know about ACT and their policies seems OK. ACT may be better than the parties we have!

Yes, politicians as a group leave a great deal to be desired. There are many problems, ranging from an excessive desire for attention and being loved, having a great willingness to over-simplify every issue, the desire for power, the willingness to lie, and all too often a desire to use their office to enrich themselves. They are basically a plague upon the citizenry of every country.

I think Bob Barr in his current incarnation is better than Ron Paul and he is enthusiastically recommended by David N. Mayer of MayerBlog, who is a perceptive observer. I will be looking into him and evaluating his policies carefully. He does seem to have left some of his problems when he was in Congress behind.

90% of Americans say they believe in God and each and every one of those believers seems to terrify Peikoff. I am much less concerned than he is, since a great many of that 90% are actually little affected by their stated belief in God. They disagree with many of the traditional Christian dogma issues. The Christian right is losing their battles against abortion, homosexuality, couples living together without benefit of marriage, and many other issues. Americans are steadily becoming more secular as a whole, even though some full-service church clubs are growing. Traditional churches are losing their congregations faster than the social clubs are growing. The churches have been seriously hurt by their anti-abortion stances and by the scandals involving many of their leaders in a variety of hypocrisies. Meanwhile, the courts are also doing a good job of keeping the churches and religion out of government.

The upswing is that the real threat in America lies more with socialism as bolstered by Global Warming Alarmism than with the receding religious right. Fighting socialism is done by emphasis on the importance of individual rights and making that argument has great benefits in reducing the infringements of those rights by the religious elements at the same time. In fact socialism and religion now are sharing more and more values and common causes, so fighting socialism also fights those elements in the churches who are more and more left leaning.

The increase in the numbers of subsidies in the Bush presidency are indicative of how even the left-hated Bush is really indicating a leftward trend on the part of the conservative right. You can hardly say that he fought abortion rights very effectively and whole-heartedly either.