The liberal spending complex in government and education is in shock about the dramatic proposal of former California Governor Ronald Reagan for a $25 billion federal income tax cut next year and a $90 billion cut in federal spending — enough to wipe out our entire budget deficit.
Reagan has upstaged the other politicians in both parties on the key issue that affects more Americans than any other because we are nearly all taxpayers. The Reagan proposal cannot help but be popular with the voters and significantly boost his chances in the presidential sweepstakes.
Governor Reagan would achieve these federal spending cuts by transferring authority in whole or in part from Washington, D.C. back to local and state governments in areas such as welfare, education, housing, food stamps, medical care, and community development. These programs obviously will cost less when handled at the state and local levels.
If you pass an ice cube from one hand to another around the table, its volume significantly decreases by the time it returns to you; and likewise the money you send down to Washington shrinks as it goes through many hands before it returns in local benefits.
When Governor Reagan gets around to pruning out waste on an item-by-item basis, a good place to start would be the $121,000 federal grant given to Southern Illinois University to administer marijuana to paid male volunteers, then show them erotic films, and then measure their reactions. Or the $342,000 given to Michigan State University to conduct a survey of college students on their premarital sex habits. Or the $57,800 of our tax money paid to a five-man team to make 79 body measurements of 423 American Airlines stewardesses. This study was titled “Anthropometry of Airline Stewardesses.” Anthropometry is the science of measuring the various parts of the human body.
Among the other wasteful spending projects of the federal gov ernment are the $71,000 spent to compile a history of comic books, and the $131,417 spent to discover that most mothers prefer no-iron children’s clothing. The Women’s Bureau in the Labor Department costs about $2 million a year to run. A great deal of its time and effort are spent promoting the controversial Equal Rights Amendment. Another good place to save money would be the Interna tional Women’s Year boondoggle in the State Department, currently costing the taxpayers $300,000.
One of the strangest quirks of politics is that Ronald Reagan’s successor as Governor of California, liberal Democrat Edmund Brown, Jr., has also sensed voter resentment against wasteful spending. The press is calling him “a political genius” for his skill in speaking out against federalism and bureaucracy.
If Governor Brown is a political genius for implementing a policy known in California as “neo-Reaganism,” then the genius label should also be correctly applied to the man who showed him how, Ronald Reagan.