Statements and Speeches
Hearing Statement: "How to Save Taxpayer Dollars: Case Studies of Duplication in the Federal Government"
May 25 2011
WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) participated in the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, "How to Save Taxpayer Dollars: Case Studies of Duplication in the Federal Government." For more information or to watch a webcast of the hearing, please click here. A copy of Sen. Carper's remarks, as prepared for delivery, follows:
"Unfortunately, I'm all too familiar with many of the examples of duplicative and wasteful spending laid out by the recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, I've heard countless times about the ways in which federal programs are not performing as well and as effectively as they could, and consequently wasting scarce taxpayer dollars. Whether it is badly managed information technology projects, property and buildings that aren't efficient or necessary, too many federal data centers, or not doing a good enough job rooting out fraud and waste in Medicare and Medicaid, there's a lot we could be doing better.
"Given our mind boggling budget deficit, we need to be looking into every nook and cranny of our federal budget to find ways to save. Out of all of the items in the GAO report, I believe the growing number of federal data centers was the clearest example of wasteful duplication in the federal government. Last month, the Administration announced it will close 137 unnecessary data centers this calendar year. I look forward to hearing about the potential cost savings these closures could generate, in addition to how the Administration plans to reach its goal of closing 800 data centers by 2015.
"In addition to savings, the GAO report outlines in great detail the enormous opportunities we have to raise revenue by narrowing our nation's significant tax gap. The GAO lays out some clear steps that we can take to close the tax gap of over $300 billion, which is created when businesses and individuals fail to pay their fair share of taxes.
"In his State of the Union address, President Obama promised a fundamental reorganization of the federal government, and I hope our witnesses here today will expand on the GAO report and provide us with details on what this might mean for the business of government. Specifically, I am interested in how this particular report on duplication might be able to better inform the President's desire to potentially reorganize government and make it work better for the American people.
"'Double your pleasure, double your fun' might work for chewing gum – but not for government programs paid for by American taxpayers. That's why I sponsored the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010, signed by President Obama earlier this year, which demands better performance for less money from government programs. Programs that work should be applauded, and programs that don't work either need to be quickly fixed or perhaps we don't need them. It's my hope that the law will help serve as a roadmap for the tough decisions that lie ahead.
"I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today to see how Congress and the Administration can use this report and my law as a roadmap for the tough decisions that lie ahead."