GAO: Government Struggles to Track Money and Performance

Unaccountable Government: GAO Reports Show Feds Struggling to Track Money and Performance
Committee on Oversight & Government Reform
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July 10, 2013

Pork Barrel BBQ
Pork Barrel BBQ (Photo credit: joshbousel)

Three more incidents that highlight management issues in the government, specifically the IRS, the National Park Service, and the Bonneville Power Administration. Naturally, these are anecdotal, but they hint at a more widespread problem.

Debates I have had with liberals have them suggesting that the real problem with government is not wastage, but too much defense spending and corporate welfare. When I have the same discussion with conservatives, they say entitlements are the issue.

The answer, I suspect, lies somewhere in the vortex between the three positions. First, there are programs for which the government should not be paying, and those exist in the pet projects and pork barrel coming from both sides of the aisle. But at the same time, there is a constant stream of evidence that we are wasting vast sums via poor management, ineffectiveness, and outright malfeasance.

This is not a matter of “what to attack first.” It ALL has to be attacked. We don’t need to expand government or contract government as much as we need to right-size the levels of regulation and expenditure. In order to do that, both what government does AND how it does it must be on the table.

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Author: David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.

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