Those are all ways Heritage experts have described government programs Congress is funding—with your hard-earned money—in its new trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill.
Here are a few big failures that need to be eliminated or seriously reformed—but instead are getting millions (or billions) of dollars.
Head Start. Head Start is an emotional trap. It’s supposed to help children get a jumpstart on success—and who can be against that? Well, the fact is that it just doesn’t work. Head Start has been a colossal failure for those children and their parents. As Heritage’s Lindsey Burke explains, an Obama Administration study confirmed that “Access to Head Start had no statistically measurable effects on all measures of cognitive ability, including numerous measures of reading, language, and math ability.” This omnibus increases funding for the failed Head Start and Early Head Start programs by $612 million.
U.S. Postal Service. The USPS already defaulted on its debt last year—after seven straight years of deficits. It’s saddled with billions owed to retiree benefits, and customers are sending less and less mail with each passing year. If it is to survive, the USPS needs big reforms, but in this omnibus spending bill, Congress blocks two needed money-savers: discontinuing Saturday delivery and closing some rural post offices.
Amtrak. Despite operating in the red (even its snack cars lose millions of dollars), Amtrak would get $1.39 billion in the omnibus. Heritage expert Emily Goff reminds Congress that, as a step toward full privatization, it should make Amtrak subsidies contingent on reductions in its operating costs. How? Competitive contracting. Goff says, “Competitive contracting would improve Amtrak’s quality of service and lower its operating costs, which is good news for both riders and taxpayers.”