Massive federal waste

Massive federal waste

March 10th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

When our federal government spending is headed toward $1.6 trillion per year more than our too-high taxes bring in, wouldn't you reasonably conclude that the president and a majority of the members of Congress should insist that we quit spending irresponsibly for many things we don't really need?

Some federal spending obviously is essential. We must have the strongest, best-equipped military in the world, and there are other government functions and agencies that also must be funded adequately.

But there is much unnecessary spending as well, including an appalling amount of duplication of programs. And there are some activities, programs and spending that we should not fund at all.

The Government Accountability Office recently reported some things that should give us all great concern. And these are just a few of many examples:

  • There are 47 federal job-training programs - yet the GAO says "little is known about the effectiveness" of most of them!

  • There are 82 federal programs on teacher quality! We certainly need good teachers, but do we really need 82 programs - especially when the Constitution of the United States clearly leaves education to the states or the people, not the federal government?

  • There are 80 federal programs to help the poor and disabled just with transportation! Does that sound even remotely reasonable?

  • While defense is constitutionally a proper federal responsibility, and we assuredly want our troops guarded against mines, do we really need Army "mine rollers" at a cost of $77,000 to $225,000 each - and a different version for our Marines at a cost of $85,000 per unit?

  • What about computers? The GAO says we might consolidate the government's computer data centers - which have expanded from 432 to more than 2,100 in about a decade. One study says consolidation could save up to $200 billion over 10 years!

How many other such examples are there? Does anyone know?

Obviously, in all parts of our government, we want what we really need, but not costly duplication.

Wouldn't eliminating such duplication reduce the cost of our federal government - and ease our tax burden?

These few examples barely scratch the surface. Shouldn't we do more to save billions of dollars by getting rid of expensive, wasteful and unconstitutional services and programs?