The Hidden Hand of Government Spending

Tax subsidies have grown in importance to a size unimaginable 40 years ago, when tax expenditures first were identified as a budget problem. The current congressional appetite for tax expenditures has distorted not just tax policy, but also the budget process and congressional oversight of the money it spends. The tax-writing committees have employed tax expenditures to extend the committees’ reach and to become, in fact, a Congress within the Congress.

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