March 1 2011
How embarrassing. The GAO released a report today that enumerates a variety of government agencies and programs that are duplicative and overlapping. The Wall Street Journal reports:
The U.S. government has 15 different agencies overseeing food-safety laws, more than 20 separate programs to help the homeless and 80 programs for economic development.
The agency found 82 federal programs to improve teacher quality; 80 to help disadvantaged people with transportation; 47 for job training and employment; and 56 to help people understand finances, according to a draft of the report reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The Food and Drug Administration makes sure that chicken eggs are "safe, wholesome, and properly labeled" while a division of the Department of Agriculture "is responsible for the safety of eggs processed into egg products."
Hey! That's my money! This stinks for taxpayers, but it's also sad for the people that these programs are intended to help. Wouldn't programs for transportation the disadvantaged be more effective if they worked together and weren't spread out under a variety of titles and agencies?
It doesn't surprise me that there is so much "bloat" in the Beltway. There are plenty of politicians who are willing to come to Washington and make speeches about shiny new programs that will fulfill a need in society. Many times those "new" programs will duplicate the efforts of other preexisting ones. We should be wary of how many government programs already exist and overlap, especially considering our dire national debt problem.
It will be interesting to see how Republicans and Democrats react to this report. Cutting government spending - especially from duplicative, wasteful programs - should be a bipartisan effort. Everyone should agree that wasting taxpayer money on government inefficiency is bad for our budget, our businesses, and our economy as a whole.