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Congratulations to Delaware's Sen. Tom Carper for saving the taxpayers a lot of money.  

President Obama signed into law Thursday a bill that requires federal agencies to identify and recover improper payments to vendors and other sources. The new law also requires the agencies to take steps to prevent improper payments in the first place.  

This is important because the Office of Management and Budget estimates that federal agencies improperly paid $98 billion in taxpayer money to individuals and institutions that weren't supposed to get it.  

Yes, that's right. $98 billion.  

Sen. Carper deserves the taxpayers' thanks for his perseverance in fighting for this bill.  

However -- and we mean no disrespect to the senator by this -- why was this bill needed?  

We're grateful that the senator did.  

But doesn't this show that something is enormously out of whack when we need a law to stop federal employees from improperly paying people $98 billion?  

"There's real money here -- a lot of money," Sen. Carper said.  

He has that right.  

All federal officials should be forced to answer two questions. First, how did this happen? And, second, why wasn't it fixed before?  

This raises a fundamental point. Instead of dividing the nation with arguments about too little government or too much government, why aren't united in finding solutions to bad government?