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Sen. Coburn points to $200 billion of duplicative federal spending

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, told “Morning with Joe” Scarborough that the folks in the federal government are wasting $200 billion of taxpayer dollars – each year.

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“I’m real disappointed in the (bipartisan) budget deal,” Coburn told Scarborough. “The GAO says we’ve got $200 billion in wasteful, duplicate spending every year. And what we do is we raise fees (a synonym for taxes) raise money, steal money, raise the cost of pensions for federal workers.”

How did Coburn come up with this number? According to a report in the Washington Post, it is Coburn’s own estimate, based on Government Accounting Office (GAO) reports. A synopsis of the duplicate, wasteful spending shows that $365 billion is spent on programs that are duplicated.

According to information on Sen. Coburn’s website “Duplication Nation” the federal government is spending $30 billion for 44 job training programs and those programs are administered by nine different federal agencies.

Hitting closer to home, Coburn says there are 20 federal programs spending billions across 12 different agenicies studying invasive species.

A May 2007 report of the Academic Competitiveness Council revealed there are at least 105 federal programs supporting science, technology, education, and math education, with aggregate funding of $3.12 billion in FY 2006. (The duplicative spending has been going at least since the G.W. Bush administration, according to Coburn’s findings.)

Coburn sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget highlighting more than 1,362 duplicative programs accounting for at least $364.5 billion in federal spending every year.

Bottom line? Cut government waste and duplication, that’s comething the Ryan-Murray budget proposal did not put forward.

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