Budget Watch

A newsletter covering budget reform and the latest news and views on the federal budget, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 543-4110, Fax (202) 543-5975, and the Small Business Survival Foundation, 1320 18th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036 (202) 785-0238, Fax (202) 822-8118. E-mail [email protected], Web http://www.nationalcenter.org/.

Issue # 25 - March 6, 1996 * David A. Ridenour and Karen Kerrigan, Editors

Hill Watch: Update on Budgetary Issues on Capitol Hill

Budget Committee Issues Comprehensive Response to Budget Bill Vetoes

When President Clinton vetoed the Balanced Budget Act of 1995, the GOP budget plan that would have balanced the federal budget by 2002, he released a document entitled President Clinton's Reasons for Vetoing the Republican Budget outlining 82 reasons for opposing the bill. This week, the House Budget Committee released a comprehensive 100+ page point-by-point reply by issuing Response to the President: Rebuttals to President Clinton's 82 Reasons for Vetoing the Balanced Budget Act of 1995. "...The President's veto claims repeatedly distort and misrepresent the policies contained in the Balanced Budget Act," says the introduction to the report. "Worse, the President's claims are at odds with his own actions. For example, he boasts of his concern for enforcing environmental regulations even though he has proposed reducing enforcement personnel by 400 FTEs (full-time equivalents); he touts his 'cops on the beat' program, but fails to note the program fails to assure that funds for additional police officers will go to those areas with the highest crime problems. Where candidate Bill Clinton promised to 'end welfare as we know it' and provide a middle-class tax cut, President Clinton has done neither; he has only rejected Republican proposals to carry out these promises." More excerpts from the report will be included in the next edition of Budget Watch. To obtain a complete copy, contact the Budget Committee at (202)226-7270.

Broadcasters Still Struggling for
Corporate Welfare Senate Budget Committee
to Hold Hearings on Auctioning the Spectrum

ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox may have thought their $70 billion gift from taxpayers was sealed after passage of the telecommunications bill, but the ongoing budget debate has only increased the visibility of a proposed electromagnetic spectrum auction. The nation's broadcasters are slated to receive -- courtesy of U.S. taxpayers -- "beachfront property" on the spectrum with the flexibility to do whatever they want with it. Critics contend that other telecommunications companies have had to bid for spectrum -- bringing in billions to the federal treasury. Why should broadcasters receive their spectrum free while competitors have to pay? Broadcasters say that they offer a free service and if they have to pay for spectrum, then the public will no longer get "free T.V." The broadcasters have just kicked-off a multi-million dollar campaign to get their "no more free T.V." message out to the public. If the spectrum is auctioned off, an estimated $70-$100 billion could be raised for deficit reduction. The Senate Budget Committee has just announced hearings for March 14. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold four days of hearings at the end of April. For more information, contact the Campaign for Broadcast Competition at (202)785-0238.

Waste Patrol: Where Government Can Slim Down

94% of Education Programs Do Not Support Reading,
Math and Science, Panel Review Reveals Findings
May Explain Why Academic Performance Has Plummeted
Despite Large Spending Increases

By now, most Americans are familiar with the crisis in education: Despite the fact that spending per pupil has risen from $3,000 in 1970 to $5,600 today after inflation, the average Scholastic Aptitude Test score dropped from 937 in 1972 to 902 in 1994 and today some 66% of 17-year-olds can not read at a level considered "proficient." A review of Department of Education programs conducted by the House of Representative Economic and Educational Opportunities Committee may have uncovered the root of the education problem. Working with the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Research Service, the Committee discovered that there are at least 760 federal education programs, administered by 39 separate agencies, departments, commissions and boards, costing a total of $120 billion. But according to the Committee survey, just 6% of these programs are intended to teach or support mathematics, science or reading. Among the programs apparently deemed more important than the education basics were a "Boat Sludge Educational Grant Program," costing $7.05 million and a "Beautiful Skylines Architectural Grant Program," which received $3.2 million. For more information on the Economic and Educational Opportunities Committee's findings, contact Cheri Jacobus at (202)225-4527.

And Speaking of Waste in Education...

A new study by the Alexis deTocqueville Institution (AdTI) has found that if every item of the National Education Association's legislative agenda were adopted, federal spending would rise by at least $702 billion annually -- equal to an annual tax hike for a family of four of $10,554. For more information, contact AdTI at (703)351-4969.

Small Business Survival Foundation
1320 18th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202)785-0238
Fax: (202)822-8118

The National Center for Public Policy Research
501 Capitol Ct NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 543-4110
Fax: (202)543-5975
E-mail [email protected]

Nothing written here should be construed as an attempt to help or hinder legislation before the U.S. Congress.

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