BUSH MAY CUT SOME CORPORATE WELFARE The Advanced Technology Program (ATP), a federally funded research slush fund for Fortune 500 companies, may get the ax in the Bush Administration budget, according to recent news reports.
Surprising Move by Administration
Taxpayers for Common Sense is the best organization that monitors excessive government spending, corruption and corporate welfare. Here is their latest news update.
ATP funds research and development grants for companies with billions in profits who would likely continue research and development without government handouts.
The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that almost half of previous ATP grant winners “continued their research and development projects despite a lack of ATP funding.” In fact, the General Accounting Office (GAO) reported that three completed ATP projects merely duplicated private sector research.
The goal of the Advanced Technology Project is “economic growth and the good jobs and quality of life that come with economic growth… by fostering technologies that enable new, innovative products, services, and industrial processes,” according to the Department of Commerce. They also acknowledge that “none of these projects has yet triggered major impacts on the economy.”
Of the 500 projects the ATP program has funded, only 20% of the projects have had commercial value at all.
ATP received its first appropriation for $10 million in 1990, increasing to $69 million in 1993. By the end of 1993, ATP had selected 89 projects for which it received $241 million. ATP funding peaked at $508.7 million in 1995. This year, taxpayers will spend $190 million on the program.
According to the Department of Commerce, the following needy companies get money from ATP: AT&T, BP America, Dow Chemical, BellSouth, United Technology Co., AOL Time Warner, General Motors, Bell Atlantic, Boeing Co., Chevron Co., MCI, and Textron Inc.
ATP recipients come first to Uncle Sam for their research and development funds. Over 60% percent of companies applying for ATP grants did not even bother to seek funding elsewhere even though the free market may have been able to meet their needs.
Many of these companies give millions of dollars to political campaigns. Why can’t they invest their own resources to pay for research and development that they will profit from?
President Bush and his Administration should be commended for their principled efforts to start slashing away at corporate welfare. The true test may be in keeping Members of Congress from adding these programs back into appropriations bills during this year’s budget battles.
For more information contact Keith Ashdown at 202-546-8500 x 110 or by email
at email@example.com. TCS is at www.taxpayer.net
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