$10,000 for 'Circus Training': Does the Federal Government Need to Pay for This?

September 14, 2020 Topic: Politics Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Reboot Tags: U.S. EconomyEconomicsFederal FundingStates

$10,000 for 'Circus Training': Does the Federal Government Need to Pay for This?

There is no reason to think that federal politicians have superior knowledge to state-local leaders regarding how to run policing, schools, housing, and other local activities. 

The Trump administration is threatening to cut federal aid to cities that do not follow its approach to policing and civil unrest. The administration also wants to cut aid to public schools that do not follow its approach to reopening. Previously, the Obama administration tried to micromanage neighborhoods and housing through control over federal aid dollars.

As a general matter, there is no reason to think that federal politicians have superior knowledge to state-local leaders regarding how to run policing, schools, housing, and other local activities. Unfortunately, having power over an armada of 1,386 aid-to-state programs makes federal politicians think they are national central planners. Trump, Obama, and other presidents exude self-confidence, but they do not know how to run the affairs of 50 states and 19,000 cities and towns across our huge nation.

This study argues that Congress should repeal all federal aid-to-state programs for many reasons, including that aid comes with costly strings attached that destroy local democracy. Richard Epstein and Mario Loyola noted about aid programs: “When Americans vote in state and local elections, they think they are voting on state and local policies. But often they are just deciding which local officials get to implement the dictates of distant and insulated federal bureaucrats, whom even Congress can’t control.”

I came across a table (p. 82) in New Jersey’s budget that lists the $15 billion the state received in 2020 from each of almost 400 federal aid programs. The data reproduced below illustrates the vast reach of the federal government’s tentacles.

One of the line items includes $10,000 for circus training in Camden. Is there anything that the federal government doesn’t subsidize?

Federal Aid for State-Local Governments in New Jersey, 2020   $000
Child Care   104,700
Child Nutrition - School Breakfast   130,000
Child Nutrition - School Lunch   375,000
Child Nutrition - Special Milk   1,300
Child Nutrition - Summer Programs   14,047
Child Nutrition Administration   13,395
Child Nutrition Technology Grant   2,000
Farm Risk Management Education Program   282
Food Stamp - The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)   3,596
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program   5,400
Indemnities - Avian Influenza   600
National School Lunch Program- Equipment Assistance   1,000
Produce Safety Rule Implementation   770
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program   1,600
Trade Mitigation Food Purchase and Distribution Program   2,000
Various Federal Programs and Accruals   8,761
Restricted Federal Grants   49,911
Social Services Block Grant   42,868
Title IV- B Child Welfare Services   12,117
Title IV- E Foster Care   176,937
Community Development Block Grant - Super Storm Sandy   - - -
Community Services Block Grant   20,500
Continuum of Care Program   4,000
Emergency Solutions Grants Program   4,000
Family Self Sufficiency Program Coordinator   350
Housing and Urban Development Recovery Initiative   - - -
Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control   4,800
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program   140,000
Mainstream 5   450
Moderate Rehabilitation Housing Assistance   9,500
National Affordable Housing - HOME Investment Partnerships   6,000
National Housing Trust Fund   8,500
Section 8 Housing Voucher Program   265,000
Small Cities Block Grant Program   8,023
Weatherization Assistance Program   5,550
Anti- Heroin Task Force   - - -
Body Worn Cameras   156
Defense Tactical Training   750
Diversity Training   100
Father/Child Visitation Program   165
Federal Reentry Initiative   - - -
Health, Safety and Wellness   - - -
Inmate Vocational Certifications   350
Innovative Reentry Initiatives   125
Offender Reentry   600
Prison Rape Elimination Grant   145
Promising Reentry   750
Responsible Parenting Program - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families   110
Smart Supervision   500
Special Investigations Division - Intelligence Technology   250
Special Operations Tactical Equipment   200
State Criminal Alien Assistance Program   4,300
Swift, Certain, and Fair Sanctions Program   600
Technology Enhancements   500
Various Federal Programs and Accruals   200
21st Century Schools   26,497
AIDS Prevention Education   120
Bilingual and Compensatory Education - Homeless Children and Youth   2,150
Career and Technical Education Teacher Pathway   - - -
Head Start Collaboration   275
Hurricane Relief   - - -
Improving America’s Schools Act - Consolidated Administration   5,040
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Basic State Grant   382,000
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Preschool Grants   11,675
Language Acquisition Discretionary Administration   18,193
Mathematics and Science Partnerships Grants   - - -
Migrant Education - Administration/Discretionary   2,327
Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge   - - -
Race to the Top - Preschool Development Grant   - - -
STOP School Violence Grant   2,750
School Violence Prevention Program   500
State Assessments   8,650
Student Support & Academic Enrichment State Grants   25,798
Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants   44,840
Title I - Grants to Local Educational Agencies   362,950
Title I - Part D, Neglected and Delinquent   1,861
Vocational Education - Basic Grants - Administration   25,450
Various Federal Programs and Accruals   2,213
Air Pollution Maintenance Program   10,500
Artificial Reef Program - PSE&G/NJPDES Permit Fees   985
Atlantic Brant Migration Ecology Study   240
Atlantic Coastal Fisheries   300
Beach Monitoring and Notification   700
BioWatch Monitoring   700
Boat Access (Fish and Wildlife)   1,000
Bobcat Hair Snare Study   240
Brownfields   1,000
Clean Diesel Retrofit   500
Clean Vessels   1,000
Clean Water State Revolving Fund   68,000
Coastal Zone Management - Special Merit   - - -
Coastal Zone Management Implementation   3,965
Community Assistance Program   600
Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ) Assessments   200
Consolidated Forest Management   500
Cooperative Technical Partnership   3,000
DOT Reconstruct Ferry Slips LSP   6,000
Development Compensatory Mitigation Technical Manual   - - -
Development of Coastal Ecological Restoration   - - -
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund   28,200
Endangered Species   355
Endangered and Nongame Species Program State Wildlife Grants   1,070
FEMA Port Security Grant LSP   1,100
Fish and Wildlife Action Plan   135
Fish and Wildlife Health   380
Fish and Wildlife Technical Guidance   - - -
Forest Legacy   4,245
Forest Resource Management - Cooperative Forest Fire Control   1,230
Framework for Increased Risk Reduction   1,200
Hazardous Waste - Resource Conservation Recovery Act   4,750
High Hazard Dams Grants/Loans   - - -
Historic Preservation - Super Storm Sandy   - - -
Historic Preservation Survey and Planning   1,000
Hunters’ and Anglers’ License Fund   13,530
Improving Marsh Restoration   - - -
Land and Water Conservation Fund   5,000
Landscape Restoration   350
Marine Fisheries Investigation and Management   1,750
Mighty Waterfowlers Project   - - -
Multimedia   750
NJ - FRAMES - Monmouth County   900
NJ Outdoor Heritage Program   3,800
National Coastal Wetlands Conservation   3,500
National Dam Safety Program (FEMA)   120
National Geologic Mapping Program   674
National Recreational Trails   1,900
New Jersey Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeon   365
New Jersey’s Landscape Project   990
Nonpoint Source Implementation (319H)   3,830
Particulate Monitoring Grant   1,000
Pesticide Technology   500
Port Security Sector NY   - - -
Preliminary Assessments/Site Inspections   1,000
Radon Program   500
Recovery Land Acquisition   2,500
Remedial Planning Support Agency Assistance   1,000
Species of Greater Conservation Need - Mammal Research and Management 340
Statewide Habitat Restoration and Enhancement   700
Superfund Grants   5,020
Underground Storage Tank Program Standard Compliance Inspections   1,250
Underground Storage Tanks   3,157
Water Monitoring and Planning   970
Water Pollution Control Program   4,675
Wildfire Risk Reduction   300
Wildlife Management Area Conservation Program   2,000
Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Outreach   390
Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Partnership Exhibit Development   300
Various Federal Programs and Accruals   1,262
AIDS Drug Distribution Program   2,000
Abstinence Education - Family Health Services (FHS)   1,700
Addressing the Opioid Crisis Statewide   1,310
Asthma Surveillance and Coalition Building   769
Bioterrorism Hospital Emergency Preparedness   14,786
Birth Defects Surveillance Program   508
Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program   3,400
Breastfeeding Peer Counseling   1,271
Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion   3,350
Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments Program   617
Comprehensive AIDS Resources Grant   46,311
Conformance with the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards   340
Coordinated Integrated Initiative   2,255
Core Injury Prevention and Control Program   300
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Tracking, Research   250
Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (Part C)   13,000
Ebola Hospital Preparedness and Response   6,022
Electronic Patient Care   350
Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Partnership Grants   200
Emergency Preparedness for Bioterrorism   29,581
Enhanced HIV/AIDS Surveillance- Perinatal   213
Enhancing & Making Programs & Outcomes Work to End Rape   96
Federal Lead Abatement Program   440
Food Emergency Response Network - E Coli in Ground Beef   165
Food Inspection   676
Fundamental & Expanded Occupational Health   985
HIV/AIDS Events without Care in New Jersey   373
HIV/AIDS Prevention and Education Grant   17600
HIV/AIDS Surveillance Grant   3318
Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention   450
Housing Opportunities for Incarcerated Persons with AIDS   1958
Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS   1764
Immunization Project   9909
Improving Mental Health for Older African Americans   240
Lab Biomonitoring Program - Impact of Biohazards on New Jersey Citizens   1,000
Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Early Childhood Comprehensive System   140
Maternal and Child Health Block Grant   13,000
Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Innovation Grant   4,000
Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program   10,582
Medicare/Medicaid Inspections of Nursing Facilities   14,500
Morbidity and Risk Behavior Surveillance   1,071
National Cancer Prevention and Control   6,889
National HIV/AIDS Behavioral Surveillance   512
National Program of Cancer Registries   1400
New Jersey Cancer Education & Early Detection (NJ CEED)   197
New Jersey Childhood Lead   316
New Jersey Personal Responsibility Education Program   1426
New Jersey Plan for Private Well Programs   290
New Jersey State Maternal Health Innovation Program   - - -
New Jersey’s Reducing Health Disparities Initiative   160
Nurse Aide Certification Program   1000
Oral Health Grant   500
Overdose Data Action   7486
Pandemic Influenza Healthcare Preparedness   1935
Pediatric AIDS Health Care Demonstration Project   2350
Pediatric Mental Health Care   445
Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System   750
Preventative Health and Health Services Block Grant   5683
Prevention & Public Health Fund - Coordinated Integrated Initiative   1187
Prevention & Public Health Fund - Immunization and Vaccines for Children   9600
Prevention and Management of Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke   1715
Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health - State Plan   900
Public Health Crisis - Opioids   4524
Public Health Crisis Response   5470
Public Health Laboratory Biomonitoring Planning   2156
Rape Prevention and Education Program   1896
Ryan White Part B - Emergency Relief   1300
Ryan White Part B - Supplemental   1500
Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program   2000
Supplemental Food Program - Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)   151608
Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)   1319
Tobacco Age of Sale Enforcement (TASE)   2357
Tuberculosis Control Program   2595
Venereal Disease Project   3882
Viral Hepatitis Surveillance   400
Vital Statistics Component   1498
West Nile Virus - Laboratory   200
West Nile Virus - Public Health   1942
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program   2600
Zika Surveillance and Intervention   - - -
Various Federal Programs and Accruals   24029
Block Grant Mental Health Services   19,289
Child Care Block Grant   160,662
Child Support Enforcement Program   178,077
Clinical High Risk For Psychosis   400
Cures Grant   12,995
Developmental Disabilities Council   1,649
Electronic Health Records Provider Incentive Payments   20,000
Grants to Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose Deaths   1,000
Health Information Technology (HIT)   5,661
Medication Assisted Drug and Opioid   950
National Family Caregiver Program   5,200
National Strategy Grant- Suicide Prevention   471
New Jersey Mental Health Awareness Training   125
New Jersey Money Follows the Person   12,941
New Jersey State Opioid Response   48,998
Older Americans Act - Title III   34,106
Program Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care   2,000
Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH)   2,141
Refugee Resettlement Program   2,578
Social Services Administration   40,868
Strategic Prevention Framework   2,260
Substance Abuse Block Grant   49,000
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program   174,420
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education   9,500
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Fraud Grant   1,000
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Block Grant   441,915
Title XIX Child Residential   114,000
Title XIX Community Care Program   781,895
Title XIX ICF/MR   221,166
Title XIX Medical Assistance   8,338,551
Title XXI Children’s Health Insurance Program   488,853
United States Department of Agriculture Older Americans   4,350
Vocational Rehabilitation Act, Section 120   13,322
Various Federal Programs and Accruals   6,202
Assistive Technology   600
Current Employment Statistics   2,417
Disability Determination Services   74,553
Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program   3,337
Employment Services   26,717
Employment Services Grants - Alien Labor Certification   789
Independent Living   600
Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives   1,594
National Council on Aging - Senior Community Services Employment Project 4,040
Occupational Safety Health Act - On- Site Consultation   2,674
One Stop Labor Market Information   1,046
Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health Act   2,872
Redesigned Occupational Safety and Health (ROSH)   385
Reemployment Eligibility Assessments - State Administration   3,550
Rehabilitation of Supplemental Security Income Beneficiaries   5,000
Supported Employment   975
Trade Adjustment Assistance Project   8,220
Unemployment Insurance   156,545
Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973   54,207
Work Opportunity Tax Credit   746
Workforce Investment Act   116,166
Workforce Investment Act - Adult and Continuing Education   18,250
Various Federal Programs and Accruals   1,802
Anti- Methamphetamine   500
Body Cameras   1500
Community Oriented Policing (COPS) Anti- Gang Initiative   1000
Community Oriented Policing (COPS) Anti- Heroin Task Force Program   3000
Community Oriented Policing (COPS) Hiring Program   - - -
Community Policing Development   500
Coverdell Competitive   250
Disaster Assistance -- Other   - - -
Disaster Assistance - Super Storm Sandy   - - -
Emergency Management Performance Grant - Non Terrorism   9000
Encouraging Innovation   500
Enhancement of Data Analysis Center   - - -
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission   300
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)   350
Flood Mitigation Assistance   9000
Forensic DNA Laboratory   2300
Hazardous Materials Transportation   550
Highway Traffic Safety   41150
Homeland Security Grant Program   7993
Incident Command   - - -
Intellectual Property   450
Internet Crimes Against Children   600
Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)   4700
Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention   1013
Medicaid Fraud Unit   4913
National Crime Statistics Exchange   2750
National Criminal History Program - Office of the Attorney General   500
Non- Motorized Safety   1500
Opioids   5396
Paul Coverdell National Forensic Science Improvement   550
Port Security   3000
Pre- Disaster Mitigation Grant (Competitive)   5000
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program   1000
Preventing Wrongful Convictions   250
Project Safe Neighborhoods   700
Public Safety Innovation Acceleration Program   - - -
Recreational Boating Safety   3800
Residential Treatment for Substance Abuse   480
STOP School Violence Prevention Program   500
Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)   655
Training for Juvenile Prosecution   250
UASI Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP)   8685
Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)   22750
Urban Search and Rescue   12500
Victim Assistance Grants   87800
Victim Centered Law Enforcement Training   750
Victim Compensation Award   2900
Victims of Crime Act - Building State Technology   344
Victims of Crime Act - Training Discretionary   1000
Violence Against Women Act - Criminal Justice   3890
Various Federal Programs and Accruals   1550
Antiterrorism Program Manager   198
Armory Renovations and Improvements   7700
Army Facilities Service Contracts   5000
Army National Guard Electronic Security System   350
Army National Guard Statewide Security Agreement   950
Army National Guard Sustainable Range Program   80
Army Training and Technology Lab   414
Atlantic City Air Base Environmental   70
Atlantic City Air Base Operations and Maintenance   200
Atlantic City Air Base Service Contracts   1900
Atlantic City Air Base Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization   700
Brigadier General Doyle Memorial Cemetery Building Project   5,000
Dining Facility Operations   250
Facilities Support Contract   22,100
Federal Distance Learning Program   447
Firefighter/Crash Rescue Service Cooperative Funding Agreement   2,000
Hazardous Waste Environmental Protection Program   2,953
Lakehurst Readiness Center   - - -
McGuire Air Force Base Operations and Maintenance   202
McGuire Air Force Base Service Contracts   1,492
Medicare Part A Receipts for Resident Care and Operational Costs   10,699
National Guard Communications Agreement   400
New Jersey National Guard ChalleNGe Youth Program   3,200
Sea Girt Energy Grid Upgrade   - - -
Sea Girt Regional Training Institute - Construction   10,000
Training Site Facilities Maintenance Agreements   120
Training and Equipment - Pool Sites   540
Veterans’ Education Monitoring   600
Warren Grove/Coyle Field   60
Various Federal Programs and Accruals   1,055
Americorps Grants   6,053
Foster Grandparent Program   1,200
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs   5,000
Help America Vote Act   2,800
John R Justice Grant Program   - - -
National Endowment for the Arts Partnership   900
National Health Service Corps - Student Loan Repayment Program   255
State Trade and Export Promotion Pilot Grant Program   850
Student Loan Administrative Cost Deduction and Allowance   9,511
Airport Fund   2,000
Boating Infrastructure Program (New Jersey Maritime Program)   1,600
Commercial Drivers’ License Program   1,100
Development and Implementation Grant - Federal Transit Administration   1,527
Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program   9,506
Financing Advanced Microgrids   300
Pipeline Safety   950
State Energy Conservation Program   1,321
Underserved Communities Electric Vehicle Affordability Program   100
Various Federal Programs and Accruals   1,325
Total Federal Aid   15,096,959