This week we finally reached Tax Freedom Day - the day after which American workers begin to make money for themselves and their families instead of the government. While no one begrudges making a reasonable contribution for necessary services, how many of us are confident that our wages earned over the past 108 days are being spent carefully and wisely by the federal government in Washington, D.C?
So while we all listen to politicians and government employee unions still bemoaning the modest cuts imposed by the Sequester, let's scroll through the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) annual report highlighting just some of the waste and redundant programs still funded by our tax dollars.
Wasteful Spending Program #1: $14 million on Catfish Inspections
“Government doesn’t have a spending problem.”- President Obama, Jan. 2013
Not only does government have a spending problem, but with a budget shortfall estimated at $845 billion this year, we have a massive wasteful spending problem. Take for instance Catfish Inspections. The GAO reports that we could easily save $14 million annually by consolidating the overlapping inspection processes on Catfish.
The actual cost of our absolutely critical Catfish inspections are more than $100 million every year, but due to a system riddled with inefficiencies we’re throwing money down the stream. The United States Department of Agriculture, under a provision of the 2008 Farm Bill, has the power to inspect and create inspection programs for meat, poultry, and seafood. One inspection process, Catfish, has grown into three separate taxpayer-funded agencies each with overlapping research and responsibilities.
Wasteful Spending Program #2: $4 Billion by not buying in bulk
“Deficit reduction is not a worthy goal.” – White House spokesman Jay Carney
Ask any big American family how they save money on groceries and household supplies, and they’ll probably pull out a Costco card. We understand that buying in bulk will reduce costs, but sadly our Federal Government doesn’t understand that basic tip for saving tax dollars. Instead each department or agency buys many of the same goods independently, dramatically reducing our national purchasing power and wastefully spending your tax dollars. The GAO reports that, “By simply buying together the critical agencies like the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Energy, and Veterans Affairs could save over $4 billion a year.”
Wasteful Spending Program #3: $82 million spent on 7 different camouflage uniforms