The Trouble with Federal Grants

Is summed up perfectly by Gordon Tullock:

In passing, I may note an amusing plaque which, at least some years ago, was set in the cement at the entrance to the Toledo, Ohio, airport. This plaque was a letter from President Eisenhower to the City of Toledo in which he congratulated the city on having built their airport entirely on their own without federal funds. He made it clear that he thought this was a highly meritorious, and even noble, act. In order not to raise any misunderstanding in other parts of the country, however, he then went on to say that, of course, those communities which could not provide their own airport must receive federal aid. I take it that the citizens of Toledo never again found it possible to build their own airport.”

-Gordon Tullock, “Competing for Aid,” Virginia Political Economy: Selected Works, Vol. 1, 205-6.


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