SPECIAL REPORT

Grapevine: Happy tax day

GAO report looks at waste across government

 

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Happy Tax Day

Above the doors of the IRS building here in Washington is the quote "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society."

Civilized, maybe, but not efficient, says a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

The GAO looked at the inefficiency, duplication, and waste across the government and found plenty.

42 programs exist across six departments for non-emergency medical transportation.

USA Today uses a toy gun as a classic example of inefficiency. Children's toys are under the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

If the toy has a laser sight, the FDA is involved.

And the plastic orange tip that indicates it is a toy is regulated by the Commerce Department.

One of the 132 actions the GAO recommends is to take over a $1.5 billion in funding to the U.S. Enrichment Corporation Fund because its objectives are completed.

The government has addressed 37 percent of recommendations from previous reports -- saving roughly $20 billion since 2011.

It is projected to save another $80 billion over the next eight years.

New York State of Mind

The New York State government is also under fire for wild spending with little to show for it.

Startup NY is a business incentive program from Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration.

It has created 76 jobs after more that $50 million spent on marketing -- about $700,000 per job.

A bipartisan coalition is calling for the program to be suspended.

Quote -- "That's not economic development; that's lunacy," says once critic.

The Cuomo administration says the program is still in its early stages.

Ye Ole Senate

Finally, the Democrat-controlled Minnesota State Senate is standing by some of its old-fashion rules.

Speakers are not allowed to make eye-contact with fellow members during floor debates.

One Republican lawmaker tells the Saint Paul Pioneer Press the rules are antiquated.

While supporters say it keeps debate shorter and less personal. Water is also not allowed on the floor of the State Senate -- not even for pregnant or nursing mothers.