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    Friday, September 23, 2005

    More "Pork" Talk

    I never stop being amused by the use of word "pork" to refer to excessive government spending. If I were William Safire, it would be my next Sunday column.

    But that's not my point. My point is that this, despite my disagreement with the writer on Social Security and prescription drug benefits, is a great article. The greatest thing about it is that it's in one of the leading conservative magazines!

    President Bush must endorse a serious, realistic set of budget offsets, and the most promising area is corporate welfare.

    It doesn't have a natural base of support, and cuts in it will be much harder for Democrats to oppose. Republicans should have taken it on long ago. Now is a perfect moment. According to the RSC, eliminating corporate welfare would cut $5 billion in 2006 and $50 billion over ten years. Take one example: The Advanced Technology Program was instituted in the late 1980s, an overwrought response to the Japanese economic tiger. This program, funded to the tune of $150 million per year, gives grants for research and development on products with "significant commercial payoff." That is, the money funds research on only the most marketable products, those that companies have the most incentive to fund anyway. General Motors, Motorola, and IBM have all cashed in. Over 35 percent of ATP funding has gone to 39 "Fortune 500" companies, whose combined 2003 revenue was $1.4 trillion.

    It's not sexy, but Bush and anti-spenders in Congress should also be pushing to reform the congressional budget process, which favors free spending. Making the budget resolution binding, for instance, would rein in appropriators who ignore it to lavish money on their own priorities. . .

    The most important ingredient at the moment, however, is presidential leadership. It has been absent for five years on spending.


    Michelle Malkin lays waste to Alaska Republican Don Young fiscal madness. We've found their weakness and we're not going to let it go! Finally!

    Found it on Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish.

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