Inefficient Government Spending

I watched some of John Stossel Goes to Washington, which was aired on ABC last week, and the topic dealt with how the US government spends our tax money.

I don’t remember much of the facts and figures. Does anyone know of some prominent examples of inefficiencies in government spending? I remember hearing about the Pentagon, the BIA, something about public housing (is that run by HUD?), the DEA, and more.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

Um, KwikStah, you ask a lot of good questions, but they sort of have the same theme. And I can’t help but wonder: Did they run out of books for that U.S. Government class you’re taking? Should we take up a collection?

John Stossel is anything but an impartial reporter. Ten years or so he was a not very good TV investigative journalist of pro-government, liberal tendencies. Then he flipped over completely and now he’s a not very good journalist of anti-government, conservative tendencies.

Well, I’m in a competitive civics class, and the California state competition’s coming up, so I need to have as much information as I can about a wide variety of topics.

I actually have lots of resources from which to study, but I like to hear others’ opinions and takes on things.

What is the California state competition in civics? Do they actually ask you questions like “What range of opinions do people have on government spending?”?

Water delivery and forest management were some of the examples I recall from the special. The interview with Bruce Babbitt was so funny. If you want to buy one of the specials you could go to
Also he has a home page at where he has chats and message boards.

And be sure you tell them you got your data from an internet message board… then lean back in your chair with your arms crossed and wait for the oooohs and ahhhhhs from the judges.

Here’s a site that hawks a book you might be interested in. I found it quite enlightening. Especially interesting are the government programs designed (either purposefully or accidentally) that offset or ameliorate the effects of other government programs.

The author, as you can see from the link, spent 9 years reviewing nearly 2000 government spending documents in researching his subject.

It’s a national civics competition called We the People. Our school will be competing next week at the Regional level.

My panel is responsible for covering the drafting and ratification of the Constitution. There are five other panels who cover other topics.

How government spending relates? Well, one our prepared presentations is on the differing views of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists regarding republicanism, and oftentimes, we get follow up questions asking whether the Anti-Federalists fears have been proven correct.

As a side note, ALL large organizations (and a lot of small ones) spend money inefficiently. A lot of the big corporations (such as GE, where I worked) wasted money on projects just as badly as government, but just never get the criticism. The difference, of course, is that government is spending “our” money (as if wasting the money we spend buying a product is any different).

True, but I don’t think the workers at a company like GE are as lazy and slow as DMV employees.

I think government spends money much more inefficiently than most large companies. But you could be correct – would you be willing to cite some sources?

There are likely a lot of slow and lazy people in any large corporation. However pretty much EVERYBODY has to go to the DMV. We don’t all have to go to GE’s corporate headquarters or to some manufacturing plant.

GE does have the advantage of being able to get rid of the bad employees much more expeditiously than people in civil service.

Apparently, GE has identified 75,000 people that it thinks it doesn’t around.

Let’s see… (1) replacing the flatware on Air Force One; (2) Replacing the keyboards in the White House offices; (3) Possibly needing to rent a steam-cleaner for certain, uh, stains in the Oval Office…