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Dogs Bark

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New York Times columnist Gail Collins writes today [2] as if she just attended a seminar featuring Jim Buchanan [3], Gordon Tullock [4], and some of my other GMU Economics [5] colleagues.  Here’s a slice of her spot-on public-choice [6] ruminations:

Cutting a federal program is next to impossible because there’s usually somebody who cares much more about keeping it than the White House does about making it go away. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida is already making soft whimpering noises about the NASA budget cuts, which will, if necessary, eventually rise to guttural howls.

Before the budget document even went out, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York had issued a scathing press release attacking plans to eliminate $5 million in grants to manufacturers of worsted wool.

“I will fight to make sure this proposal never sees the light of day,” said Schumer, who claimed that dropping the grants could ruin “Rochester’s iconic Hickey Freeman,” a men’s clothing company. It turned out that Hickey Freeman gets a different wool-manufacturer break entirely. Rochester is saved!

My own favorite target for extinction is a $9 million annual appropriation for museums and educational programs that highlight the “shared culture and tradition” of Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians and “children and families of Massachusetts.”

In other words, whaling.