Budget Issues:

Selected GAO Work on Federal Financial Support of Business

AIMD/GGD-96-87: Published: Mar 7, 1996. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 1996.

Additional Materials:


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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO summarized previously issued GAO work on spending programs and tax benefits available to businesses, focusing on: (1) examples of GAO work assessing selected financial support programs; and (2) work published after 1992.

GAO found that: (1) government-provided financial benefits to businesses fulfill a wide range of public policy objectives and are spread throughout the budget; (2) poorly designed programs can cause the government to spend more money or lose more revenue than necessary to achieve program objectives; (3) ineffective or inefficient transfers benefit businesses doing things they would have done anyway; (4) other program problems include preemption of market forces, which promotes inefficiency, moral hazards, which cause businesses to take greater risks, and duplication and overlap; and (5) Congress needs to address issues regarding the reduction or redesign of programs, including the necessity for new legislation.

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