Family Allowances: An Analysis of Their Development and Implications

Family Allowances: An Analysis of Their Development and Implications

Family Allowances: An Analysis of Their Development and Implications

Family Allowances: An Analysis of Their Development and Implications

Excerpt

On the desk in front of me is the Federal budget. This is the massive document which details how the United States government shall spend some $80 billion annually. The budget numbers 968 pages. Within these pages are innumerable items that might be described as subsidies--Federal benefactions for one group or another within our society.

There are subsidies for the operators of merchant ships and for the owners of commercial airlines. Federal funds pay for locks and canals, through which boats are navigated, and Federal funds make up 90 per cent of the cost of high-speed Interstate roads, over which fleets of trucks operate every hour of the day. And there was a time when the Federal budget deeded to the stockholders in frontier railroads each alternate section of land along the rights-of-way for some 2,000 fabulous miles. The budget of today authorizes subsidies for farmers who raise cotton and rice and corn, and even for those who grow tobacco--despite the warnings of the American Cancer Society about cigarettes and lung cancer.

There are subsidies in the Federal budget and tax structure for poor people on welfare; and there are other subsidies, in the form of accelerated amortization tax certificates, for rich people who own private-utility corporations and other valuable properties. Nearly every segment of our vast social order has some kind of gift under this gleaming Christmas Tree--that is, just about everybody except the nation's most precious segment of all: its children.

Somehow, the personal welfare of children has been all but neglected in the disbursement of Federal subsidies. Yet, on the welfare of America's children depends the future of our nation. Has this neglect occurred because no valid program exists for the distribution of sub-

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