Federal Aid to Dependent Corporations: Clinton and Congress Fail to Eliminate Business Subsidies

Publication Date: January 1997

Publisher: Cato Institute

Author(s): Dean Stansel; Stephen Moore

Research Area: Business

Type: Brief


According to Cato Institute estimates, the federal government currently spends roughly $60 billion a year on programs that provide spending subsidies to businesses. Two years ago both Congress and the Clinton administration pledged to attack that pervasive corporate safety net. This study finds that those promises have been largely unfulfilled.

We find that in 1995 Congress reduced corporate welfare spending by about 15 percent. In 1996, however, of the $37.7 billion budgeted for 55 of the least defensible programs, Congress increased spending by about $500 million. That was a 1.3 percent increase from the 1996 level.