Federal Budget: Here a Cut, There a Cut

New from the Business & Media Institute

Here a Cut, There a Cut
Media coverage is filled with wailing over budget cuts to still-growing federal programs. According to some journalists, kids wont be able to go to college and have a future because of reductions in student loan programs. But theyre missing perspective in the political cutting war.

Commentary: Cable Firms Prefer One Choice Theirs
Do you watch all of your 100 cable channels? No? Wouldnt it be great if you paid only for the channels you want? The market is eager for a la carte cable, but the industry is a government-protected monopoly that keeps consumers from saving.

From the Mouths of Babes to the Pockets of Oil Execs
The New York Times found a new beef with Big Oil this week as it complained about drilling companies paying less to the federal government. Unfortunately, the Times engaged in zero-sum pro-spending economics, implying that Bush could have used oil money to save growing entitlement programs from budget cuts.

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly tracks the best and worst media coverage of business and economics. Readers are invited to submit suggestions or news tips to staff writer Ken Shepherd.
This week:  BusinessWeek takes a look at home schooling; USA Today worries mining fines too small; CNN business panelists in love with class warfare.

Also from BMI:

Diamond in the Rough

CNNs In the Money Continues Love Affair with Class Warfare

USA Today Insists Mine Safety Fines Arent High Enough

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Research, News & Commentary

Federal Budget

Commentary: Competitive Enterprise Institute journalism fellow Tim Carney finds 10 good reasons to cut corporate welfare, a significant contributor to the 2.47 trillion of our tax dollars the U.S. government is set to spend this year.

Commentary: Speaking of corporate welfare, The Heritage Foundations Policy Blog cheers President Bushs proposed $79 million cut in the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). Most funding for ATP goes to projects for which private funding is readily available, benefiting large corporations which already spend millions on research and development, such as IBM, General Electric, and Motorola.

Commentary: Over the last 30 years development aid has lowered measures of economic freedom in both dictatorships and democracies. To better promote freedom, and consequently development, we should end economic development aid to dictators and democracies alike, argue Independent Institute scholars Benjamin Powell and Matt Ryan.


Commentary: Not only a corny idea, Ethanols a Big Scam, and Bush Has Fallen for It, writes the American Enterprise Institutes Kevin Hassett. Growing and harvesting the corn, and heating and reheating the fermented corn to produce ethanol of a high enough quality to replace some of the gasoline in your car requires an enormous amount of energy 29 percent more energy to make ethanol from corn than is contained in the ethanol itself.

News: Mobile [Ala.] Register business reporter Andrea James takes a look at the Natural gas shortage: crisis or hype? James cites, among others, CEIs Myron Ebell, who noted that With U.S. prices of gas two or three times that in other countries, it is impossible for American chemical producers to compete Many have already moved their production overseas, and I expect most of the remaining producers are in the process of doing so.


Commentary: In Opportunity is not black or white,Business & Media Institute National Chairman Herman Cain takes umbrage at former President Jimmy Carters recent remarks at the funeral of Coretta Scott King that there are not equal opportunities for all Americans. To the contrary, Cain argues, The charge young blacks and minorities must keep today their debt for the struggle that took nearly 350 years is to capitalize on all the opportunities available in the U.S. for academic and economic growth. People create limitations. America creates opportunities.