Noman is shocked, shocked! to learn there is bloat in the US government. So says a report from the unimpeachable Government Accountability Office (GAO). What does surprise Noman is that the report could only identify $100 to $200 billion in duplicative spending. Among the reports lowlights:
- 18 federal programs spent a combined $62.5 billion in 2008 on food and nutrition assistance. 11 of these programs have not been well studied, so nobody knows how effective they are
- 5 divisions of the Department of Transportation account for 100 different programs funding highways, rail projects (like the one President Obama has proposed in his budget), etc.
- The government is encouraging federal agencies to purchase hybrid plug-in vehicles (remember Government Motors?) while concurrently requiring them to reduce electricity consumption
- On the "small potatoes" front, the report identified 82 teacher's quality programs with similar descriptions and goals spread across 10 federal agencies. But, 53 of them are "relatively small,"receiving $50 million or less.
Noman says that with all due respect to the GAO's analysis, the real bloat in federal government is evidenced not by the duplicative existence of 82 programs for improving teacher's quality, but rather by the existence of any. Doesn't the government think people can figure these things out on their own?