GAO Report: $400 Billion Wasted Annually On 1,500 Programs

GAO Report: $400 Billion Wasted Annually On 1,500 Programs

On Tuesday, the Government Accountability Office released a report uncovering $400 billion of wasteful federal spending on 1,500 duplicative, fragmented, or inefficient government programs.

From the GAO report:

This year, GAO identified 32 new areas of duplication and 19 additional areas of waste and inefficiency. The report cites duplication in almost a thousand individual programs, costing taxpayers over $300 billion per year. This is on top of more than $100 billion identified in last year’s report. Examples include:

·        $3 billion spent on over 200 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education programs. GAO stated that since 2005, when it first looked at this issue, “the majority of [STEM] programs have not conducted comprehensive evaluations of how well their programs are working.”

·        37 uncoordinated EPA laboratories and 94 “green building” programs for which costs cannot be determined because “information agencies provided was incomplete and unreliable.”

·        $736 million spent on 14 different diesel emissions programs and federal funding for 55 surface freight transportation programs.

·        160 various housing assistance programs at a cost of $170 billion annually.

The report also found that only eight percent of the items identified last year had been successfully addressed to avoid wasting taxpayers’ money:


Massive Waste From Last Year’s Report Ignored

GAO also issued an accompanying assessment of progress in eliminating duplications identified last year. This report shows that only 8 percent of the items in last year’s report have been successfully addressed. Items outstanding include:

·        82 duplicative teacher quality programs. One year later, none of the identified programs have been consolidated or eliminated.

·        18 duplicative domestic food and nutrition programs where “no executive action [has been] taken,” at total cost of $62.5 billion.

Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee Jeff Sessions (R-AL) reacted strongly to the GAO’s findings:

“This shocking report identifies more than $400 billion in annual government spending on 1,500 different programs that are wasteful, duplicative, or inefficient. Over the course of a decade, this translates into trillions of wasted taxpayer dollars. Yet the president’s budget plan proposes to raise taxes by $2 trillion in order to increase spending by another $1.6 trillion–subsidizing even greater waste in Washington. It emphasizes more spending, and does not execute the kind of dramatic efficiencies necessary to alter our debt course. The president’s budget is a massive bailout for big spenders.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are adamantly refusing to even do a budget at all for the third straight year.

In short, the Democrats running Washington want higher taxes that will shrink the private sector in order to expand the wasteful public sector. They don’t want to offer a budget plan because it exposes this painful truth.”

The U.S. debt presently stands at over $15 trillion.

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