GAO REPORT SHOWS BILLIONS IN DUPLICATE PROGRAMS
The Government Accounting Office released the report as they do whenever a new Congress goes into session. The difference is this year someone is actually paying attention to the report. We have known for years that government wastes billions of tax payer dollars on useless and unnecessary programs but this report highlights waste on a ridiculous scale from programs that are not only duplicated but also have not had any type of impact study which was designed by Congress to show the effectiveness of any government program.
Just a few examples of the waste and just how bad it truly is:
80 programs to improve teacher quality - all in different agencies and doing exactly the same research.
80 programs to help the disadvantaged with transportation - again different agencies providing the same service.
100 programs to fund highway and rail projects - most of these are not even in the transportation department and are for infrastructure which as we all know is a disaster.
The Small Business Administration and the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce spent $6.5 billion last year on 80 overlapping programs for economic development.
These are just a few examples of hundreds of over lapping programs which research and/or supposedly provide the same government service, wasting tax payer money while failing to actually do the job even one of the overlapping services was created to do. If this type of waste were found in the private sector that business would have closed long before the waste was discovered at this scale. This is the equivalent in the private sector, using FEDEX for example, of sending a letter overnight and having 100 employees showing up at your door ten days later expecting to be paid for duplicate services which delivered the letter late.
Government waste in rampant and this GAO report confirms just a portion of the savings which could be made in total spending if just the duplication were ended. A simple task that has been taking place for years that no one in Washington has has even attempted to address. Senator Colburn is absolutely correct in his assessment that not only does this make Congress, "look like jackasses," but in something as simple and as quick a fix as ending duplication in government services, Congress has ignored every opportunity to correct problems and end the waste that has plagued government for decades.