Cutting Duplicate Programs Can Save Billions
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In an op-ed in today's Washington Examiner, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) hits us with a few examples:
Congress has created 209 federal programs for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, spread across 13 federal agencies, costing taxpayers $3 billion annually. We are spending nearly $4 billion each year on more than 200 overlapping Department of Justice crime prevention grants.
So you didn't have to, I dug around and found two more overlapping programs:
- There are fourteen programs at the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency focusing on "reducing mobile source diesel emissions."
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) created by the Dodd-Frank law has an Office of Financial Education to promote financial literacy. This activity is similar to the Treasury Department's Office of Financial Education and Financial Access.
These are just a few of the "32 areas of extensive duplication, fragmentation and overlap" in this report that follows up a similar GAO report issued last year. All these programs have well-intentioned goals, but these duplicative efforts wastes taxpayer dollars that we can't afford. Just like how a business has to pare back expenses, this report offers Congress some low-hanging fruit to make government smaller and smarter.