Report Reveals Excessive Waste in Washington

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As the legislative stalemate over the budget continues, some lawmakers say Congress should start trimming the deficit by putting an end to waste.

In a 620-page "Back in Black" report released last week, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., points to several examples of widespread spending problems in Washington.

Government auditors found that 22 percent of all federal programs have no positive impact. These programs alone cost $123 billion a year.

In addition, health care fraud costs an estimated $60 billion every year.

And in a more bizarre scenario, researchers say Washington spent $2.6 million training Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job. Eskimo whaling ship captains can also get $10,000 in tax breaks, even though commercial whaling is illegal in U.S. waters

Coburn's report came as he launched an effort to save the government $9 trillion over 10 years.

"We need to cut spending inside the code as well as spending outside the code," Coburn told reporters as he introduced his plan.

"This plan offers the American people 9 trillion reasons to stop making excuses and start solving the problems in Washington," he said.

Coburn gathered 20 Republican staff members to research hundreds of government programs and audits, including reports completed by the Government Accountability Office.

Last December, Coburn revealed results of a similar congressional earmarks study.

Among the government spending, he found $175 million was spent for upkeep of an unused monkey house and $1.8 million was used for a museum for old Las Vegas signs.

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