The Government Accountability Office released a study Tuesday that uncovered 31 new areas of wasteful spending that are costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars each year, the Hill reports.
Taken in tandem with similar studies issued in 2011 and 2012, the report uncovered over 160 areas of unnecessary spending.
“We can’t afford to continue to operate the way we’re operating,” U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro said as she addressed lawmakers at the end of a hearing on the report.
“We can do better.”
The White House responded to the report’s findings by asserting that progress had been on more than 100 areas of duplicative spending, and said President Obama’s upcoming budget proposal will present hundreds more in cuts, savings and consolidations.
“From day one, the president has made rooting out waste and improving the way government works a top priority,” said Danny Werfel, controller of the White House Office of Federal Financial Management.
“We are committed to building on the progress that’s been made.”
The GAO documented wasteful spending across a plethora of federal agencies, including $8.35 billion over 10 years for an unproven Medicare Advantage bonus program and billions more lost as a result of untargeted enforcement by the Internal Revenue Service.
The study does more than point the finger of blame at these agencies.
The study puts forth more than 80 recommendations to reduce the wasteful spending, in addition to more than 300 that were issued in the previous two reports.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, took the Obama administration and lawmakers on the hill to task for not having a hands-on approach to dealing with this issue.
“It is unconscionable and immoral for Congress and the administration to ignore this problem,” said Coburn Tuesday in a written statement.
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