Government & Constitution

The Hall of Shame

This is the fourth annual HUMAN EVENTS report on the 10 Most Harmful Government Programs. The program elected No. 1 by our judges each year is enrolled the following year in our government-programs Hall of Shame and is no longer eligible for election to the Top 10 list.

2005—Internal Revenue Code

The 16th Amendment was proposed by President William Howard Taft and approved by Congress in 1909. It was ratified by the states in early 1913. Newly inaugurated President Woodrow Wilson promptly pushed through a progressive income tax. Under President Franklin Roosevelt in 1939, the income-tax laws were formally consolidated into the Internal Revenue Code. The Tax Foundation has calculated that it cost Americans $194 billion to comply with the code in 2002 and predicts that compliance costs will rise to $244 billion by 2007.

2004—Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

The Medicare prescription drug plan, or Medicare Part D, was enacted by a Republican Congress at the request of Republican President George W. Bush in 2003. It went into effect this year and will cover most of the cost of drugs for seniors on Medicare. Medicare’s trustees determined the cost of this program to be $8.1 trillion over the next 75 years.

2003—Legal Services Corporation

The LSC was enacted by a Democrat Congress in 1974 and signed into law by Republican President Richard Nixon. It hands out grants to leftist lawyers to fund ideological lawsuits. Grantees have sued to keep criminals from being evicted from public housing, to help illegal immigrants get government benefits and to throw out ballots of military personnel. The LSC is requesting a budget of $411,800,000 for fiscal 2007, an increase of $47,991,000 over last year’s request and $85,222,016 over the final fiscal 2006 appropriation.


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