Amazingly, there was little fanfare for a report by the GAO on Tuesday. The MSM was focused on the important issues of the day – what would Charlie Sheen do next, who got eliminated from American Idol, and the fashion mistakes at the Oscars. The GAO is about the only honest organization in Washington DC. It was formerly headed up by David Walker and it tirelessly tries to reveal the fraud, waste and corruption that our Congress promotes on a daily basis. A report that proves the stupidity, corruption and pure self interest of our elected officials is swept under the rug in hours. The captured MSM doesn’t even mention the report. Cutting waste and spending would reduce the power of Washington DC, therefore it will never happen. None of the programs listed will be eliminated. NONE.
The Federal Budget could be sliced by $250 billion in minutes by eliminating duplicate programs. Don’t hold your breath. I’m sure a new program to help the homeless just got created.
GAO’s simulations show continually increasing levels of debt that are unsustainable over time absent changes in current fiscal policies. The objectives of this report are to (1) identify federal programs or functional areas where unnecessary duplication, overlap, or fragmentation exists, the actions needed to address such conditions, and the potential financial and other benefits of doing so; and (2) highlight other opportunities for potential cost savings or enhanced revenues
Overlap costing billions
CONGRESSIONAL investigators at the Government Accountability Office have come out with another of those reports documenting the size and waste of the federal government.
And the numbers are stunning:
- 82 separate programs across 10 federal agencies to improve the quality of teachers.
- 15 different agencies over seeing food safety. The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for the seafood industry but catfish is the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture.
- 80 programs to provide transportation to the elderly and disadvantaged.
- 8 programs spending $62.5 billion on food and nutrition programs.
- More than 20 programs to help the homeless.
- Four federal agencies oversee a combined 52 programs to encourage entrepreneurship, 25 infrastructure programs and 26 for telecommunications.
THE GAO concluded the obvious, “Reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap, or fragmentation could potentially save billions of taxpayer dollars and help agencies provide more efficient and effective services.”
The report cited several specific savings — streamlining the Pentagon’s health-care bureaucracy could save up to $460 million a year, for example — but it declined to estimate the total amount of potential savings.
However, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who pushed for the study, put the savings at between $100 billion and $200 billion.
Some of these programs might be truly useful but they haven’t been evaluated for effectiveness in years.
GAO’s findings will provide rhetorical ammunition for the budget-cutting to come but if the fate of this report is like that of past reports that documented the same waste and duplication the debate may be thoroughly misleading.
CONGRESS likes to act as if the federal bureaucracy with its labyrinth of programs just appeared one day at the foot of Capitol Hill.
But the fact is that every single one of these programs is a creature of Congress.
The lawmakers must think that these programs have value because they approve their funding annually.
Federal programs tend to have powerful congressional patrons and the budget cutters and efficient government types mess with these fiefdoms at their own peril.
— Scripps Howard News Service