Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Federal Subsidy Programs Now Exceed 2,000

"January 22, 2010 is a day that should live in infamy, at least among believers in limited government. On that day, the federal government added its 2,000th subsidy program for individuals, businesses, or state and local governments. Most people are aware that federal spending is soaring, but the federal government is also increasing the scope of its activities, intervening in many areas that used to be left to state governments, businesses, charities, and individuals.

To measure the widening scope, the chart above uses the program count from current and past editions of the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, the official compilation of all federal aid programs, including grants, loans, insurance, scholarships, and other types of benefits. The chart shows that the number of federal subsidy programs has almost doubled since the mid-1980s after some modest cutbacks under President Ronald Reagan."

Chris Edwards at The Cato Institute

HT: Juandos


At 1/27/2010 3:55 PM, Blogger KO said...

Give in to the dark side and feel the power:

At 1/27/2010 4:17 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Federal Subsidy Programs Now Exceed 2,000"...

Hmmm, now this story has a very familiar ring to it...:-)

At 1/27/2010 4:22 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Sorry, Juandos, I couldn't remember how I found that link, now I realize it was you! I gave you the the HT.

At 1/27/2010 4:35 PM, Anonymous Benny The Man said...

Note the huge, huge number of Agriculture Department and Interior Dept subsidy programs.

Then note tables from the Tax Foundation that show federal spending is heaviest in red states, in comparison to revenues. Red states are federal parasites.

Then you will know why when you cut a Republican, he bleeds--gushers of red ink, that is.

Rural America is not only meth-head land, but hinterland residents are the most molly-coddled, subsidized, economically knock-kneed weaklings on earth.

Free enterprise does not dare show its face in Farm America.

Great post Dr. Perry and Juandos.

At 1/27/2010 4:48 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Benny, what are you complaining about? You lefties are always preaching from each according to his abilities to each according to his need. This wealth redistribution from blue to red states should make you very happy.

At 1/27/2010 5:08 PM, Anonymous Benny The Man said...

I am not a leftie.

I am a "balance the budget" fanatic.

Except for small deficits due to capital spending, we should run roughly balanced budgets over time.

This has alienated me from the R-Party.

I also detest subsidies, and they are rife in Rural America.

At 1/27/2010 5:38 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I am a "balance the budget" fanatic"...

Hmmm, so pseudo benny that means you think we need to do away with entitlements, right?

Realistic Budget Baseline Shows $13 Trillion in Debt over the Next Decade

January 26, 2010

by Brian M. Riedl

(BTW thanks Dr. Perry)

At 1/27/2010 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then you will know why when you cut a Republican, he bleeds--gushers of red ink, that is.

Benny, the clueless lefty,

Some of the largest recipients of farm subsidies are sports stars, celebrities and investment funds living in New York and Los Angeles. Of course, now that Obama and the Democrats are in complete control of the budget those "parasites" in the red states will be out of luck when it comes to their farm subsidies. Right?:

WASHINGTON — Among the audacious proposals in President Obama’s budget was a plan to save more than $9.7 billion over a decade by putting strict limits on farm subsidies that are disbursed regardless of market conditions or even whether the land is actively farmed.

But Mr. Obama’s grand ambitions have run into political reality.

While Mr. Obama’s Democratic allies on Capitol Hill adopted much of his budget template, the farm subsidy limits never got off the ground.

In the House, farm-state lawmakers told the Budget Committee chairman, Representative John M. Spratt Jr., Democrat of South Carolina, that they would not support any budget plan that tinkered with hard-fought agreements they struck in passing last year’s omnibus farm bill.

And in the Senate, Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota, chairman of the Budget Committee and an ardent defender of agricultural interests in his state, quickly discarded the president’s proposal.

In the House, Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, joined Representative Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon, in offering an amendment to cap eligibility for farm subsidies at $250,000 in family income. Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, offered a similar amendment in the Senate. Both were defeated.


In 2007, when the Bush administration proposed a $200,000 income cap, a study by the Agriculture Department found that fewer than 2 percent, roughly 38,000 of more than 2.6 million farm proprietors or landlords of farm properties, reported gross income of more than $200,000 and received subsidy payments.

New York Times

As I've pointed out before, Bush tried to negotiate a complete end to all farm subsidies at international trade talks.

It really is a thankless task pointing out how little you actually know about the things you post. But when you combine ignorance with insult, well, you really become beneath contempt.

At 1/27/2010 6:40 PM, Anonymous Benny The Man said...


The farm subsidies should be killed off now, by Obama and the D-Party, I agree.

I note farm subsidies exploded in the 2000s, under an R-Party dominated DC (they held House, Senate, White House and Supreme Court). Outlays as fraction of GDP grew.

Bush? Did he ever really show up for work? I thought he took an eight-year vacation.

Red-Ink Republicans.

Cut a Republican, and he bleeds red--ink that is. And calls for a massive transfusion.

At 1/27/2010 7:57 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Bush? Did he ever really show up for work? I thought he took an eight-year vacation.

No, he outsourced his work to China and India.


At 1/27/2010 8:04 PM, Blogger KO said...

Benny The Man said...
I also detest subsidies, and they are rife in Rural America.

True and they're also rife in urban America. Mortgage interest deductions and state income and property tax deductions disproportionately benefit urban areas.

That leaves those in low tax and low property value areas paying a larger amount to the Feds on the same income. Pass higher taxes in Sacramento and about 1/4 of it is subsidized by sending less income tax to the Feds.

Imagine the uproar if that deduction was ever dropped. If they made everyone pay taxes without those deductions and made people apply for the check, everyone would realize what those are.

At 1/27/2010 8:05 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Bush? Did he ever really show up for work? I thought he took an eight-year vacation.

If only they all took an 8 year vacation, we'd all be better off.

Benny, if you don't know that you're a lefty, that's very sad. Being for a balanced budget doesn't make you less of statist.

At 1/28/2010 1:49 AM, Anonymous Benny "Tell It Like It Is" Man said...


Well, if lefties balance the federal budget, and keep us out of foreign entanglements, then I guess I am a leftie.

If lefties think the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Education should both be abolished, then I am a leftie.

I don't dare mmention how obsolete our US Navy is. Surface ships? In a shooting war, they have to retreat to harbor. Submarines. Bad submarines. One sub can bottle up an entire fleet. But keep spending your money on the Navy. Tax, tax, tax, tax and borrow, borrow, borrow.

If you like the Ag Sector, if you like the Defense Sector, then you are going to love federalized health care.

Call me a leftie.

At 1/28/2010 8:05 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Are you reenforcing how clueless you really are pseudo benny? "If you like the Ag Sector, if you like the Defense Sector, then you are going to love federalized health care"...

Can't you do simple arithmetic and see where the real problems lie?

I mean its not that you're wrong per se about monies in the Ag sector and Defense sector is a lot but relatively speaking its barely a drop in the bucket when compared to entitlements...

At 1/28/2010 2:53 PM, Blogger QT said...


Break it up there. Benny has finally got a posting about federal subsidies....he's on topic for once. Cut him some slack.


Agree with you that subsidies are inefficient and create distortions/perverse incentives.

That being said, you are beating a head horse here. Everyone knows what you think about this if you have something new to add, do so...otherwise, isn't it time to move on?


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