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Why can’t D.C. get a grip on wasteful costs?

March 14, 2012
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

Presidents and members of Congress come and go in Washington, D.C. One thing remains the same, year after year, decade after decade: massive waste of taxpayers' money.

A report last year by the Government Accountability Office targeted billions of dollars in waste because of overlapping federal programs and agencies. Eighty-one different areas of duplicative spending were identified.

Since then, on more than one occasion, President Barack Obama and members of Congress have cited such waste. But apparently, no one is doing much about it.

GAO investigators recently reported that of the 81 areas of duplication detailed in their report a year ago, just four have been addressed.

And those 81 involved just one-third of the federal government, the GAO noted. That third was the scope of last year's audit.

A new one, covering another one-third of the government, has been released. It too identifies massive waste. One example: The Justice Department has spent $30 billion on overlapping programs to prevent crime and help victims since 2005. Put that in perspective: $30 billion is enough to fund every function of Minnesota state government for almost two years.

When will someone take government waste seriously enough to end it?

Who knows?



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