Research on Big Government

Research from The CATO Institute:

The mission of the Cato Institute is to increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace. The Institute will use the most effective means to originate, advocate, promote, and disseminate applicable policy proposals that create free, open, and civil societies in the United States and throughout the world.

Downsizing The Federal Government: This is designed to help policymakers and the public understand where federal funds are being spent and how to reform each government department. It describes the failings of federal agencies and identifies specific programs to cut. It also discusses the systematic reasons why government programs are often obsolete, mismanaged, or otherwise dysfunctional.

"Department of Agriculture Proposed Spending Cuts" by Chris Edwards: The reforms proposed by Edwards would eliminate more than 90 percent of the USDA’s budget, saving federal taxpayers $131 billion annually, or about $1,100 per U.S. household.

"A Brief History of Energy Regulations" by Peter Van Doren: Van Doren discusses how federal policymakers have intervened to try and solve perceived problems in oil, coal, and natural gas markets, often with the active encouragement of the energy industry. Unfortunately, most of the major federal intrusions in energy markets during the 20th century proved to be serious mistakes, as they often destabilized markets, reduced domestic output, or decreased consumer welfare.

"Business Subsidies" by Tad DeHaven and Chris Edwards: A number of Department of Commerce programs subsidize particular companies and activities, which distorts the economy and increases tax burdens. This “corporate welfare” should be eliminated.


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