OTR Interviews

Government Gone Wild: Waste, corruption and public cynicism

Wasteful spending and no accountability: No wonder the public is increasingly cynical about the government

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 18, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: The GSA, the SEC, NOAA, ICE, all throwing away millions and millions of tax dollars, spending frivolously with little or apparently no oversight. So in the end who if either party will suffer politically for this abject disregard for the American taxpayers hard earned money? Will any politicians bear the brunt of the public's outrage? Griff Jenkins spoke with Byron York, the chief political correspondent for the "Washington Examiner."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFF JENKINS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Byron, what is the impact of all of these scandals on the Americans' view of the government?

BYRON YORK, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": It makes people increasingly cynical. They have seen this kind of waste for years. Now we have a Democratic White House and a Republican House of Representatives, and it is still going on, all of those scandals. It means that the White House is not keeping control of this stuff and the House, the Republicans in the house are not keeping close enough oversight on it.

JENKINS: As you look at this, and you have covered it for years, is the government not doing enough to stop this? I mean, they say they care, but it is it genuine? Is the waste reaching a higher level than in the past?

YORK: Here I think is the biggest problem. The biggest drivers of our debt and the future are entitlement spending -- Social Security, Medicare. Those are the things that really send the deficit out of control. But it is hard to control them if you don't control the smaller stuff. If you have these GSA conferences, if you have these magicians being hired, all of this waste, and you propose to raise taxes, people say not a penny more until they stop wasting all of that money.

JENKINS: Will this be a part of the 2012 election coverage? Will people be talking about this the closer we get to in November?

YORK: There's no doubt about it. Mitt Romney has devoted this entire week to spending and the deficit and out-of-control spending. By that, he means not just the big entitlements, he means not just spending more on defense spending, he means not just interest on the debt, he means the smaller stuff. He will talk about Solyndra. You will hear him talking about that. You will hear him talking about wasteful spending on conferences and parties. And this is going to be a theme, at least from the Republican side, of this presidential race all the way through November.

JENKINS: Who benefits? Do Republicans benefit more from the scandals or Democrats?

YORK: Right now, I think this is a Republicans issue because they don't control the White House, the executive branch. So if we hear of something in ICE or GSA or we hear of another agency, the question is, why hasn't Barack Obama stopped that? How has he let this go on? These are things that a candidate can lay at the feet of the president. So I think you will see it being more of a Republican issue on the presidential level, this time.

JENKINS: Will we see a time when Americans have new confidence in their government with respect to wasting their hard-earned tax dollars?

YORK: I don't want to be too cynical. But the federal budget is over $3.6 trillion. There is enormous capacity and opportunity for waste in all of that. I think that even if things get better, there is still going to be a lot of stuff that if you take a good, close look at the budget, you will see it. This waste is not going to go away, even if they fix the problem at GSA.

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