Thursday, January 26, 2017

17 Federal Agencies and Programs under Threat: What They Actually Cost (and Do)

From TIME magazine:

A host of planned funding cuts to federal agencies, reported last week by The Hill, are part of the Trump administration's desire to eliminate roughly $10.5 trillion in spending over the next 10 years -- nearly all of the federal government's discretionary spending.

Yet Trump has vowed not to cut entitlements, such as Medicare and Social Security, and promised to beef up military spending, which represents the lion's share of federal spending -- making it hard for him to do more than chip away at the margins of the nearly $20 trillion national debt.

What, then, would the reported cuts accomplish? The answer appears to be defunding a number of projects seen as liberal darlings -- including groups aimed at preserving and supporting the environment, civil rights protections, the arts, minority-owned businesses, and public broadcasting.

Minority Business Development Agency
Budget: $36 million
Cost per American: $0.11
This federal agency helps minority-owned businesses "with the capital, contracts, and markets they need to grow," according to its website. The agency also advocates and promotes "minority-owned business with elected officials, policy makers, and business leaders."

Economic Development Administration
Budget: $215 million
Cost per American: $0.66
The EDA supports "distressed communities with their infrastructure needs that will help drive regional growth," promotes "economic development projects that spur entrepreneurship and innovation at the regional level," and "provides direct technical assistance to firms negatively impacted by global trade."

International Trade Administration
Budget: $521 million
Cost per American: $1.60
The ITA helps American businesses sell more products to overseas markets.

Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Budget: $142 million
Cost per American: $0.43
This is a so-called public-private partnership that helps small to medium-size manufacturers become more efficient, build new products, and improve sales and marketing techniques.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Budget: Self-sustaining
Cost per American: $0
Using both loans and loan guarantees, OPIC works to help businesses with annual revenues below $400 million invest in "large scale" operations, such as airports and water systems. "Over the past five years, 71 percent of OPIC projects were in partnership with U.S. small businesses, accounting for over $600 million annually in U.S. exports," according to the State Department.

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