WASHINGTON--(streaming live at C-SPAN.org.)--Tom Schatz, President of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), will testify today at 1:00 PM before the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform at a hearing entitled “Government Spending: How Can We Best Address the Billions of Dollars Wasted Every Year?” Additional testimony will be delivered by Ryan Alexander, President of Taxpayers for Common Sense; Dan G. Blair, President of the National Academy of Public Administration; and Jonathan M. Kamensky, Senior Fellow at the IBM Center for the Business of Government. The hearing will be broadcast by C-SPAN and can be viewed
“programs can be consolidated, reformed or terminated by Congress at any time”
Schatz’s testimony targets documented instances of duplicative and overlapping programs, including several that were identified by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in two annual reports from 2011 and 2012. For example, GAO found 209 science, technology, engineering and math programs costing $3.1 billion spread across 13 agencies, 47 job training programs costing $18 billion spread across nine agencies, and more than 50 programs to promote financial literacy across 20 agencies. Schatz said, “a government that itself is going broke really has no business trying to teach others how to balance their checkbooks.”
The testimony suggested that the House and Senate adopt new rules to require every committee report to provide information on whether or not the programs included in legislation duplicated or overlapped with an existing program, and why the creation of a new program would be necessary if a similar program already existed. The Senate fell four votes short of adopting such a rule in 2011, while the House has never considered a similar proposal.
Schatz also discussed the findings of CAGW’s Prime Cuts. The most recent Prime Cuts report includes 691 recommendations that would save $391.9 billion in one year and $1.8 trillion over five years. Schatz’s testimony also included specific suggestions for eliminating waste and improving efficiency and effectiveness both from Prime Cuts and other sources, such as replacing the $1 bill with a $1 coin; eliminating the Medium Extended Air Defense System; eliminating the sugar program and abandoning the proposed Dairy Market Stabilization Program; reducing the epidemic of identity theft at the IRS; increasing the use of recovery audit contractors in Medicare and Medicaid to identify and claw back overpayments; reducing the number of unnecessary software licenses throughout the federal government; expanding the use of cloud computing services; and enacting meaningful structural reforms to prevent a taxpayer bailout of the U.S. Postal Service.
Finally, while Schatz noted that “programs can be consolidated, reformed or terminated by Congress at any time,” he supported the establishment of a permanent sunset commission to review all federal programs, as well as a commission to make recommendations to reorganize federal agencies.
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. To learn more, visit www.cagw.org.