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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

GAO Report: Billions Spent on Overlapping Programs!

With so much attention being given to our National Debt it is relieving to see some progress being made.  The GAO, Government Accountability Office, which was established in 1921 to investigate, evaluate and audit the United States Congress, issued a report in March of 2011 at the request of Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn.  

This 345 page report, the first of its kind, reveals Billions of dollars of waste spent by the Federal Government in programs that overlap or are fragmented.  It identifies 34 areas of overlapping and 47 areas of potential cost savings!  

This report is finding support on both sides of the political isle.  Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada, supports the GAO report and calls it “Constructive”.  He further states, “There are duplicate programs around here that we can eliminate and so I support, I don’t say this very often, but I am glad Coburn asked for that”.  

An example of overlapping government is given by Coburn.  He reports that within the federal government there are 47 job training programs spend $20 billion/year where all but 3 of them overlap in what they do. (correction from yesterdays post stating none had been evaluated) Only 5 of the 47 were evaluated for effectiveness. 

Patricia Dalton, Chief operating officer of GAO, states that the report is being used to propose the 2013 budget.  

Fox News informs viewers that one billion dollars saved could give a $10,000 raise for 100,000 troops, or could supply 2 million school children with IPad2’s for learning.  I can think off all sorts of ways that money could be used more efficiently!

Report can be found at:  http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11318sp.pdf

What are your views on government spending and are there programs you feel need their budgets tweaked? 


  1. I had not heard about this. Finally, someone is doing something. I thought President Obama said he was going to cut programs - don't think that ever happened!
    Yes, I think there are so many programs that are not ran correctly and should be cut. I can't imagine that Americans even know all the government programs out there.
    I definitely think welfare needs to be tweaked.

  2. I was shocked to discover so much overlapping and redundancy occurring with our money! I read there are 82 different programs to improve teacher quality from 10 different federal agencies. While America needs good teachers we do not need 82 programs that basically do the same thing! I say get the top 10 or so, ensure they are functioning effectively and get rid of the other redundant programs!

    The Welfare system is definitely in need of some tweaking, but I don't think our political parties will ever agree on that!
    Thanks for sharing!