Top Democrat wants to gut Government Watchdog that has uncovered vast waste of taxpayer dollars

Ed Lasky
Nebraska Democrat Senator Ben Nelson wants to cut the budget of the agency which consistently uncovers waste, fraud and abuse, and saves taxpayers' money.  Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post:

GAO publishes more than 1,000 reports and audits annually, and agency officials frequently testify before congressional committees to detail their findings. Despite its relatively spot-free reputation and the billions of dollars in potential savings it has identified in recent years, House and Senate appropriators responsible for drafting the legislative branch budget seem determined to force the GAO to reduce, as part of a 5.2 percent drop in all congressional spending.

As Washington seeks ways to cut back, "the buck shrinks here," said Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), chairman of the Senate appropriations subcommittee on the legislative branch. He said his proposed cuts "are real and will force Congress and the agencies on Capitol Hill to live with less."

Why cut the one agency looking to protect taxpayers from government waste, corruption and fraud? This is one agency -- that along with the various Inspectors General -- that monitor how the Obama administration is operating. The return on investment has been quite strong over the years as the GAO has acted to ferret out abuses of taxpayers.

This may be a rather transparent move to punish an agency that has uncovered how wasteful, for example, the Obama administration's stimulus program has been and how few jobs have been created from that boondoggle. The GAO has also been in the forefront of uncovering problems in the Department of Energy grant and loan program that all too often has backed politically-favored green schemes to help donors to the Democratic Party.  Given Barack Obama's poll numbers and the generally low opinion people have regarding how Democrats are doing, it would behoove Democrats to try to limit the number of GAO investigations that would reveal even more examples of how poorly the administration has performed over the last two years.

Nebraska Democrat Senator Ben Nelson wants to cut the budget of the agency which consistently uncovers waste, fraud and abuse, and saves taxpayers' money.  Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post:

GAO publishes more than 1,000 reports and audits annually, and agency officials frequently testify before congressional committees to detail their findings. Despite its relatively spot-free reputation and the billions of dollars in potential savings it has identified in recent years, House and Senate appropriators responsible for drafting the legislative branch budget seem determined to force the GAO to reduce, as part of a 5.2 percent drop in all congressional spending.

As Washington seeks ways to cut back, "the buck shrinks here," said Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), chairman of the Senate appropriations subcommittee on the legislative branch. He said his proposed cuts "are real and will force Congress and the agencies on Capitol Hill to live with less."

Why cut the one agency looking to protect taxpayers from government waste, corruption and fraud? This is one agency -- that along with the various Inspectors General -- that monitor how the Obama administration is operating. The return on investment has been quite strong over the years as the GAO has acted to ferret out abuses of taxpayers.

This may be a rather transparent move to punish an agency that has uncovered how wasteful, for example, the Obama administration's stimulus program has been and how few jobs have been created from that boondoggle. The GAO has also been in the forefront of uncovering problems in the Department of Energy grant and loan program that all too often has backed politically-favored green schemes to help donors to the Democratic Party.  Given Barack Obama's poll numbers and the generally low opinion people have regarding how Democrats are doing, it would behoove Democrats to try to limit the number of GAO investigations that would reveal even more examples of how poorly the administration has performed over the last two years.