Government Wastes More Than Sequester Saves

Sunday, 14 Apr 2013 02:30 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The U.S. government is spending billions of dollars more than the sequester cuts last month will save, according to the Government Accountability Office's third annual report.

The GAO report found 31 areas where services overlap, which would account for $95 billion in potential cost savings, Business Insider reports, or $10 billion more than the sequester cuts will save.

“Instead of preventing furloughs, reopening air traffic control towers and restoring public access to the White House, Congress and the administration continue to defend billions of dollars in duplicative programs that are little more than monuments to the good intentions of career politicians in Washington,” said Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who sponsored legislation for the report.

Editor's Note: Dangerous Dealings Between Obama, Bernanke, Special Interests

Since the GAO issued its first Congress-mandated report in 2011, it has identified a total of 162 redundant wasteful areas. So far, the government has addressed only 16 areas, partially addressed 87, and left another 27 ignored.

Last week, U.S. Comptroller General Dene Dodaro, who heads the GAO, said the government is acting too slowly.

“My term goes to 2025,” he said. “I hope that I won’t be reporting all these same issues in that year. But I can tell you that it won’t change unless the Congress gets involved in this process with active oversight.”

President Barack Obama released his fiscal 2014 budget just after the GAO report. It cuts and consolidates programs, including two for catfish inspections.

Some redundant programs include catfish inspections through the Federal Drug Administration and the National Marine Fisheries Service, and a third program proposed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, costing $30 million.

Streamlining the programs could save the government $14 million.

In addition, simply making combat uniforms more "uniform" across all four branches of the military could save the Pentagon millions, the report states.

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