Government Failures You Are Paying For

In the past, I’ve listed a number of absurd projects that Congress has funded such as $876,752 to study the sex life of snails or $384,949 to study duck penises.  There are literally hundreds of projects like these that are consuming millions of dollars, most of which should be cut from federal monies.

But have you ever considered just how many taxpayer dollars are being poured into failed or failing government projects or departments?  The Heritage Foundation recently compiled a short list of government failures that are included in the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill about to be passed by Congress.

Remember, these are your tax dollars at work.

Head Start – The omnibus spending bill increases the funding for Head Start and Early Head Start by an additional $612 million.  The programs are supposed to give students a jump start to learning and success, but even a study conducted by the Obama administration reported:

“Access to Head Start had no statistically measurable effects on all measures of cognitive ability, including numerous measures of reading, language, and math ability.”

Since it’s not working, why give them another $612 million?

Amtrak – The omnibus spending bill has $1.39 billion slated for Amtrak.  Amtrak has been federally subsidized from its start with the goal of eventually being privatized.  However, Amtrak has been running on rails covered in red ink.  Emily Goff of the Heritage Foundation says that even their snack cars have been losing millions of dollars.  She says the solution for Amtrak is not more federal subsidies but competitive contracting:

“Competitive contracting would improve Amtrak’s quality of service and lower its operating costs, which is good news for both riders and taxpayers.”

Job Corps – Slated to receive $1.65 billion from the omnibus spending bill.  Job Corps may sound like a great program but analysis has shown that it has had little effect on helping people secure full time jobs or increasing their wages.  David Muhlhausen of the Heritage Foundation stated:

“Job Corps does not provide the skills and training necessary to substantially raise the wages of participants.”

Firefighter Grants – Due to receive $680 million from the omnibus spending bill.  The main purpose behind the grants is to help reduce the number of casualties and injuries caused by fires.  The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis revealed that ineffective in reducing the number of deaths and injuries of firefighters or civilians.

My question to this is whether or not fire departments around the nation are using these grants to help pay for the salaries of firefighters and for equipment used to fight fires.  I have family in fire departments in various areas of the nation and regardless of the sophistication of equipment; fires are inherently dangerous and sometimes unpredictable.  Personally, if this $680 million is being used to keep men and women on the job fighting fires and protecting the public, then I say this is a worthwhile expenditure and not a waste.

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) – The omnibus spending bill will give $214 million to this program that was designed to add thousands of additional law enforcement officers to departments across the nation and to help reduce crime rates.  Muhlhausen’s study revealed that the program failed to make a difference in crime rates and it failed to add the additional 100,000 law enforcement officers it was supposed to add.

Again I find myself asking what the money has been used for.  With so many cities being forced to reduce their police and fire department staffs due to budget deficits, I suspect that this money has been used to preserve some of the jobs that would otherwise have been cut.  If this is the case, then I have no problem with the program, but if not, I would like to know just what the money has been used for.

Lastly is perhaps the most controversial failure listed by the Heritage Foundation and that is the US Postal Service.  We all seem to rely on the Post Office to receive important letters, bills, coupons and packages, but we don’t support the Post Office enough to make it feasible.  Currently, the USPS is billions of dollars in debt.  It owes billions of dollars just to its retirement program.  When the Post Office went to Congress for help, such as allowing them to close a number of small rural Post Offices or eliminating Saturday deliveries, Congress said no.  The Post Office just raised the price of a first class stamp to 49¢, but that won’t nearly cover their operating expenses let alone their outstanding debts.  Even our own Congressmen use other services such as UPS and Fed Ex over the USPS.  In order for the Post Office to survive, it must be reformed to make it more efficient and profitable.  But until Congress is willing to tackle that reform, it will continue to poor billions of dollars into the ever deepening dead letter hole of the US Postal Service.

As you can see, I haven’t agreed on all of the Heritage Foundations listed failures, but I did agree of the first few.  I would like to add to their list the failures of the Department of Education.  Billions of dollars are being wasted ever year on this Department and the only results we see is that the US is falling further behind other nations every year.  The public schools no longer teach the important things anymore.  They’ve become training centers to brainwash our children and grandchildren, to make them good little socialists who don’t believe in God, family values, marriage or most of the values that made America great.  In fact, they’re taught to hate America and blame it for most of the world’s problems.

Another government failure is that I would add to the list is the IRS.  They have left the realms of just collecting taxes and have become the Obama administration’s henchmen to target and trample on the rights of conservatives and Christians.  If the government would just adopt a flat tax system for everyone, they could do away with the IRS and save billions of dollars.

So what other government failures would you add to the list and why?