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mlyonsd
03-01-2011, 10:33 AM
Government Waste By the Numbers: Report Identifies Dozens of Overlapping Programs


Published March 01, 2011 | FoxNews.com

The federal government hosts 47 job-training programs, 44 of which overlap. It runs 80 programs for the "transportation disadvantaged."
Another 82 programs spread across 10 separate agencies endeavor to improve teacher quality -- something hundreds of local school districts are already focused on.

These are just a few of the findings in a blockbuster report (http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=73039811-667b-4620-811a-69f7690e2360) on government waste and inefficiencies released by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (http://www.foxnews.com/topics/politics/government-accountability-office.htm#r_src=ramp). The report, a summary of which was obtained by Fox News, identifies billions of dollars in potential savings if Congress just had the will to streamline initiatives that target politically popular causes.

"This report confirms what most Americans assume about their government. We are spending trillions of dollars every year and nobody knows what we are doing. The executive branch doesn't know. The congressional branch doesn't know. Nobody knows," Sen. Tom Coburn (http://www.foxnews.com/topics/politics/tom-coburn.htm#r_src=ramp), R-Okla., said in a statement Tuesday morning. "This report also shows we could save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars every year without cutting services."

The well-timed release comes as Republicans and Democrats fight over how much to cut from the rest of this year's budget, not to mention next year's $3.73 trillion spending plan. Democrats have so far balked at GOP plans to cut $61 billion from the 2010 fiscal year budget. But while both parties are squabbling over a relatively small slice of the budget pie -- discretionary spending -- the GAO report suggests Congress could keep cutting and leave the operation of government intact.

"Reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap or fragmentation could potentially save billions of taxpayer dollars annually and help agencies provide more efficient and effective services," the report said.

The study found 33 areas with "overlap and fragmentation" in the federal government. Among them, it found:

-- Fifty-six programs across 20 agencies dealing with financial literacy.

-- More than 2,100 data centers -- up from 432 a little more than a decade ago -- across 24 federal agencies. GAO estimated the government could save up to $200 billion over the next decade by consolidating them.

-- Twenty programs across seven agencies dealing with homelessness. The report found $2.9 billion spent on the programs in 2009. "Congress is often to blame" for fragmentation, GAO wrote in this section, explaining that the duplicative programs in multiple agencies cause access problems for potential participants.

-- Eighty-two "distinct" teacher-quality programs across 10 agencies. Many of them have "duplicate sub-goals," GAO said. Nine of them address teacher quality in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

-- Fifteen agencies administering 30 food-related laws. "Some of the oversight doesn't make any sense," the report stated bluntly.

-- Eighty economic development programs.

In some cases, the programs in question struggled to account for what they did. Take, for instance, domestic food assistance initiatives.

According to GAO, 18 such programs are administered by the U.S.

Department of Agriculture, the Department of Homeland Security (http://www.foxnews.com/topics/politics/national-security.htm#r_src=ramp) and the Department of Health and Human Services -- with GAO estimating $62.5 billion spent on them.

But "little is known about the effectiveness" of 11 of those programs, the report states.

Similarly, of the 47 job-training programs run out of the federal government, only five could provide an "impact study" since 2004 looking at "outcomes." About half of them provided no performance review at all since 2004.

The lengthy GAO report was mandated by Congress the last time it raised the debt limit in January 2010. Coburn said the report makes lawmakers look like "jackasses."

"We don't know what we're doing," Coburn said.

The Defense Department takes a number of hits in the report. The GAO found many instances of duplication in the sprawling agency. The use of "urgent need" funds have been expanded, GAO found, with "multiple places for a warfighter to submit" such requests.

GAO found that the Pentagon (http://www.foxnews.com/topics/politics/the-pentagon.htm#r_src=ramp) has "no tracking mechanism" for these funds, resulting in an estimated $77 billion spent since 2005 on communication and computer technologies, counter-measures for improvised explosive devices and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tools.

Congress asked GAO to look specifically at "federal programs, agencies, offices and initiatives with duplicative goals and activities, to estimate the cost of such duplication and to make recommendations to Congress for consolidation and elimination of such duplication."

Fox News' Trish Turner contributed to this report.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/01/government-waste-numbers-report-identifies-dozens-duplicative-programs/#

mikey23545
03-01-2011, 11:38 AM
Shocked, shocked I tell you.

Amnorix
03-01-2011, 12:28 PM
The unfortunate reality is that the federal government needs a rather massive ombudsman type office to constantly track and eliminate waste, duplication and fight to cull programs that are doing a very poor job of attaining whatever goals they have.

Instead, these programs get created and put, essentially, on autopilot forever with a fixed hard-core group of bureaucrats and special interests who fight for the maintenance of the program regardless of whether it's duplicative or effective.

HonestChieffan
03-01-2011, 12:38 PM
The unfortunate reality is that the federal government needs a rather massive ombudsman type office to constantly track and eliminate waste, duplication and fight to cull programs that are doing a very poor job of attaining whatever goals they have.

Instead, these programs get created and put, essentially, on autopilot forever with a fixed hard-core group of bureaucrats and special interests who fight for the maintenance of the program regardless of whether it's duplicative or effective.


What is Congress for 500 alex....

The Mad Crapper
03-01-2011, 03:02 PM
The federal government needs an ombudsman

ROFL

The Mad Crapper
03-03-2011, 08:33 AM
Government Waste By the Numbers: Report Identifies Dozens of Overlapping Programs



The federal government hosts 47 job-training programs, 44 of which overlap. It runs 80 programs for the "transportation disadvantaged."
Another 82 programs spread across 10 separate agencies endeavor to improve teacher quality -- something hundreds of local school districts are already focused on.


Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told members of the House Financial Services Committee March 2 that even mild cuts in spending could cost the economy 200,000 jobs.

:banghead::doh!::drool::bong::Elvis:TinkyWinky:whackit::o)

Mr. Kotter
03-03-2011, 10:19 AM
Corporate welfare and tax breaks, and all ethanol/farm subsidies should top any list of cuts.

Defense spending should be next.

KC Dan
03-03-2011, 02:26 PM
Corporate welfare and tax breaks, and all ethanol/farm subsidies should top any list of cuts.

Defense spending should be next.add federal education funding to the equation as well.

Mr. Kotter
03-03-2011, 03:20 PM
add federal education funding to the equation as well.

I'd be okay with that. Educations SHOULD be an issue of state and local concern, entirely.

Unfortunately, Washington uses funding to get their grubby hands in there.

Jenson71
03-03-2011, 03:55 PM
I'd be okay with that. Educations SHOULD be an issue of state and local concern, entirely.

Unfortunately, Washington uses funding to get their grubby hands in there.

States/localities don't have to accept it.

Jenson71
03-03-2011, 03:56 PM
Corporate welfare and tax breaks, and all ethanol/farm subsidies should top any list of cuts.

Defense spending should be next.

What exactly is corporate welfare? Like, an example of it would be great.