Update – GAO: U.S. Government Continues to Waste ‘Tens of Billions’ Each Fiscal Year
March 16, 2012
Last yearCapitolWatch informed you about a non-partisan Government Accountability Office(GAO) Report which showed spending and government waste in excess of tens ofbillions of dollars. Congress’ investigative arm had identified 81 differentareas where the government double-spends or has overlapping programs. DespiteCongressional hearings and media reports, the GAO has found that that wastecontinues to this day. President Obamaand Congress have solved just four of them.
The GAO reportreleased last year looked at only about 1/3 of our government’s operations. Thefollow-up report examined 32 new areas still more duplication was identified.Here are some of the findings in the report:
- TheJustice Department has spent $30 billion on overlapping crime prevention andvictim services grants since 2005.
- 20different agencies administer 160 programs, tax expenditures and other tools tosupport homeowners and renters.
- There are 94 different programs to promote“green building” initiatives at 11 agencies.
- 2/3’s ofall “green building” initiatives to push environmentally friendly building andupdating don’t have goals or performance measures, which GAO investigators saidmeans it’s impossible to measure how well they’re doing.
- Thereare 14 grant and loan programs at the Environmental Protection Agency, Transportation Department and EnergyDepartment all for the purpose of reducing diesel emissions.
- It takes 50 programs across nine agencies tofind employment for people with disabilities.
- The government has 7 entities training foreignofficials to identify fraudulent travel documents.
- There are 209 science, technology, engineeringand mathematics education programs at 13 different agencies that cost a totalof $3 billion a year.
Last year's report offered 81 suggestions and 176 actions to cut $100billion. Most of these can be handled administratively. Yet just four of thosesuggestions saw action. The updated report cites 51 areas and recommends 130actions. These suggestions and actions are meant to “reduce or eliminateunnecessary duplication, overlap, or fragmentation or achieve other potentialfinancial benefits.”
With a budget deficit in excess of $1 trillion a year, and an outstandingFederal Debt of $15.3 trillion and counting, our government should be takingevery opportunity to eliminate these duplicative and wasteful actions andprograms. By trimming the cost, size, and scope of government we will take someof the easiest steps towards balancing our bloated Federal Budget. Contact yourRepresentative and Senators and let them know you support ending thisGovernment waste of your tax dollars.