Did you know that the average American family spends $1,000 each year on the U.S. Department of Agriculture, whether or not it consumes that agency’s services? Or that the federal government annually spends $1,500 per household on net interest costs alone?
In an ongoing effort to shed light on runaway government spending and expose wasteful government programs, Cato launched a new Web site today that examines the federal budget department-by-department to see which agencies can be reformed or terminated. DownsizingGovernment.org describes which programs are wasteful, damaging and obsolete in an era of trillion-dollar deficits.
The research exposes that many public outlays—though vigorously defended by the politicians who created them and the constituencies they purport to help—are remarkably ineffective at achieving their core aims.
Here are just a few examples:
- Though the Department of Education’s annual budget has more than tripled in real dollars since 1970, that period has not been marked by any tangible improvement in student performance.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development operates a rural subsidies program even though hundreds of other federal programs benefiting rural constituencies already exist.
- HUD has been characterized by scandalous graft and cronyism under both Republican and Democratic presidents for three decades. The rate at which senior HUD officials have been investigated or prosecuted is chilling, and government watchdogs have found dozens of instances where officials’ private-sector contacts were showered with public money for projects.
Appearing on CNBC Monday, DownsizingGovernment.com editor Chris Edwards explained more about the site: