Gov't Spends $200 Billion on Duplicate Programs

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A new report from the Government Accountability Office reveals that the government is wasting taxpayers' money every day. The study found that the federal government is spending up to $200 billion a year on duplicate programs and agencies.

The report was released as Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill reached a deal to avoid a government shutdown.

Seton Motley, founder and president of Less Government, discussed the impact of the new report and if real cuts can be made on the March 2 edition of The 700 Club. Click play to watch the interview.

Also, Phil Kerpen, vice president of policy for Americans for Prosperity, gave more insight on America's budget issues. Click here for his comments.

With broad bipartisan support, lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives approved an emergency stopgap measure to keep the government running for two more weeks through the middle of March. However, it also cuts $4 billion in federal spending.

"We are working to get our fiscal house in order so that this economy can get going again and we can see the american people get back to work," said Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.

The measure now advances to the U.S. Senate and then on to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature. Without the bill, funding to keep the federal government running would have been depleted by Friday.

In no mood to take the blame for a possible government shutdown, Senate Democrats quickly agreed to pass the bill.

The negotiations aren't over yet. Lawmakers have two more weeks to map out a plan to fund the government through the fiscal year which ends in September. The stage is set for another round of contentious debates.

"We believe it would be harmful to the economy and therefore not something the American people would support is that if we created a toll booth where we are negotiating again again and again on continuing resolutions," said Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary.

Tuesday's House vote coincided with a report from the GAO, identifying redundant federal programs and services if consolidated or eliminated, could save taxpayers potentially hundreds of billions of dollars.

For example, the GAO report found:

  • 80 federal programs to improve teacher quality.
  • 80 programs to help the disadvantaged with transportation.
  • 100 different programs to fund highway and rail projects.

"There are 100 programs for surface transportation at the department of transportation but yet everyone talks about our failing infrastructure," said Tom Schatz, president of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste.

The report also found that the Small Business Administration and the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce spent $6.5 billion last year on 80 overlapping programs for economic development.

Schatz said the report offers more evidence of the waste in Washington, often by creating new programs even where some already exist.

"The solution in Washington is not to consolidate and improve," he said. "The solution is to create, and in doing so, they continue to fund old programs that don't work."

The GAO report also cited Congress as the main problem in Washington, D.C.'s culture of spending.

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