Subsidies to businesses in the federal budget in Fiscal Year 2012 cost taxpayers almost $100 billion, according to a new repor tfrom the Cato Institute.
“That includes direct and indirect subsidies to small businesses, large corporations, and industry organizations,” the libertarian think-tank said in its latest policy analysis.
The subsidies are handed out from programs in many federal departments, including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development, the report noted.
At the same time, the federal government will run its fourth consecutive deficit in excess of $1 trillion this year.
“If the nation is to avert a debt crisis, federal policymakers need to dramatically cut spending,” said the report, which was written by Cato’s budget analyst on federal and state budget issues Tad DeHaven. “Whole programs need to be terminated, and handouts to businesses are a good place to start.”
According to Cato, the most spending on “corporate welfare” programs in the federal budget — more than $25 billion — went to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.