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.
These are a few of the findings in a massive study of overlapping and duplicative programs that cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year, according to the Government Accountability Office.
So writes the Wall Street Journal, referring to a GAO report due to be released imminently in compliance with a provision instituted last year by Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), that essentially requires the GAO to audit the Federal bureaucracy every year.
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.
Perhaps Congress could use the services of a few of those last 56 agencies. The report is expected to list between $100 billion and $200 billion in duplicated spending. (That's 7% to 14% of last year's $1.4 trillion Federal deficit.) In addition, many of these agencies have conflicting goals and regulations. For example, as cited in the WSJ article, Federal agencies are urged to reduce electricity consumption, yet at the same time encouraged to buy plug-in hybrid vehicles.