Other People’s Money

1 Mar

When you hear the howling and whining from Democrats that is sure to come over battles to reign in wasteful government spending in the next few weeks and months, remember this.  The article spells out the findings of a “massive study” done by the Government Accountability Office, which finds “overlapping and duplicative programs that cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year.”  As you read this piece, think about how much money is taken out of your pay check, and every person’s paycheck in the United States, each month to fund this nonsense.  It must be fun spending other people’s money!

“A report from the nonpartisan GAO, to be released Tuesday, compiles a list of redundant and potentially ineffective federal programs, and it could serve as a template for lawmakers in both parties as they move to cut federal spending and consolidate programs to reduce the deficit. Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), who pushed for the report, estimated it identifies between $100 billion and $200 billion in duplicative spending. The GAO didn’t put a specific figure on the spending overlap.”

Here are some of there findings:

* The U.S. government has 15 different agencies overseeing food-safety laws, more than 20 separate programs to help the homeless and 80 programs for economic development.

* The agency found 82 federal programs to improve teacher quality; 80 to help disadvantaged people with transportation; 47 for job training and employment; and 56 to help people understand finances

* The report says there are 18 federal programs that spent a combined $62.5 billion in 2008 on food and nutrition assistance, but little is known about the effectiveness of 11 of these programs because they haven’t been well studied.

* The report said five divisions within the Department of Transportation account for 100 different programs that fund things like highways, rail projects and safety programs.

* On teacher quality, the report identified 82 programs that often have similar descriptions and goals and are spread across 10 federal agencies, including the Department of Education, the Department of Energy and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Nine of these programs are linked to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Fifty-three of the programs are relatively small, receiving $50 million or less, “and many have their own separate administrative processes.”

* The GAO highlighted 80 different economic development programs at the Department of Commerce, HUD, Department of Agriculture and Small Business Administration, that spent a combined $6.5 billion last year and often overlapped.

* The government “may have developed duplicate” programs to counter improvised explosive devices, with the Marine Corps and the Army paying to develop similar “mine rollers.” The Marine mine roller costs $85,000, and the Army mine roller costs $77,000 to $225,000. “Officials disagree about which system is most effective, and [the Pentagon] has not conducted comparative testing and evaluation of the two systems.”

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