Anyone who seriously believes that federal spending has been cut to the bone, as many members of Congress seem to think, simply hasn't been paying attention.
As a case in point, take the Library Services and Construction program. Created decades ago when only 25 percent of Americans lived within five miles of a public library, the program persists even though about 95 percent of the population now has ready access to libraries. The program has clearly outlived its purpose, but that doesn't keep Congress from spending $101.6 million a year on it.The library program is one of 10 specific programs in the Department of Education which the Washington-based Heritage Foundation suggests "should be retired - gracefully - to free funds for more important activities." Another program subsidizes a few favored law schools to offer "clinical experience" activities that nearly all other law schools provide without federal help.
The combined annual cost of these 10 programs is about $275 million. When is Congress going to call a halt?