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The Cutting Board: Wasteful Programs
Posted by Randy | August 03, 2011
Every year, our federal government spends billions of dollars on duplicative, underutilized, and wasteful programs, something we cannot afford when, during the first three months of the year, our national debt was equivalent to 95 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

We need to be making every effort to begin cutting those programs that are wasteful or unnecessary. Over the past several months, I have voted to end the following:

Neighborhood Stabilization Program. I voted to cancel the unobligated balances from this wasteful program. The NSP was established to provide funds to states and local governments to purchase, rehabilitate, and resell abandoned and foreclosed properties. The program has been plagued with problems since its inception. The Inspector General for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has identified multiple cases where NSP funds have been misused, while the Government Accountability Office has questioned whether the information systems in place at HUD are even capable of tracking the uses of this money.

Potential Savings: $1 billion

Mandatory Funding for School-based Health Center Construction. I voted to repeal a grant program requiring that Washington pay for the construction of hospital centers in schools that was included in the new healthcare law. The healthcare law mandated spending for construction and expansion of school based health centers every year through 2013.

Potential Savings: $100 million

Printing of Bills Introduced in Congress. I voted to end the wasteful mandatory printing of bills that are introduced in Congress. The GPO budget estimation for Fiscal Year 2011 alone to print 140,000 pages of bills, resolutions and amendments was more than $5.7 million.

Potential Savings: $35 million over ten years

Presidential Election Campaigns and Party Conventions Funding. I voted to eliminate taxpayer funding of presidential candidates and political conventions. The only people who benefit from taxpayer financing of campaigns are a handful of presidential candidates.

Potential Savings: $617 million

While these steps alone do not come close to addressing the magnitude of the spending crisis our nation faces, they are steps in the right direction to begin chipping away at our nation’s debt.

(Note: All savings totals are based off of estimations by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office)
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  • Jennifer Hardy commented on 8/3/2011
    The fact that this post is here on fb is a positive sign. As you said, it is not a drop in the bucket as far as total federal government over- spending but it reflects a change in attitude in the right direction! Thank you!
  • Timothy Hubert commented on 8/3/2011
    Congressman Forbes,,, when are you going to include "wasteful" spending and "fraud-waste-abuse" within the DoD??????
  • Del Curtis commented on 8/3/2011
    That's a good $1.7billion start for immediate savings. Probably about 1% of potential wasteful programs that should be cut. Keep at it Rep. Forbes. You continue to be in my prayers!
  • LAWRENCE NOWERY commented on 8/3/2011
    Does Medicare not negoitiate fees with Hospitals??? I recently had surgery and upon receiving my Medicare statement, I noted that the Surgeon was paid about 1/4 of his bill, but the Hospital was paid 100% and their rates were astounding!!!!!!!!!! Plus, Medicare paid $33,000 for the titanium total hip replacment device also billed through the Hospital. So, Medicare and my supplemental insurance paid almost all of my bill. Great for me, but why doesn't Medicare negotiate costs just like the insurance companies do??? COSTS- $56,000 X 2 HIPS= $112,000. I'm sure that inflated costs, if negotiated, could save BILLIONS annually without any impact on services or additional costs to senior citizens.
  • Brenda Gartman commented on 8/3/2011
    Thank goodness for level-headed congressmen like you who want to begin cutting with non-essential and wasteful programs. Once all these are eliminated THEN we should take a look at essential programs, and only then, i.e., schools, first responders, senior benefits, etc. We greatly appreciate your integrity and effort.
  • Ginger Jamerson commented on 8/3/2011
    These are great steps in the right direction...but I know that there are hundreds and hundreds more out there that can be eliminated or reduced. Why is it I don't see the March 2011 GAO report about redundant and useless programs listed here? What about this newest HUD program that was rolled out to the tune of $95 million on the very day the debt ceiling was raised to "support sustainable local initiatives through the FY 2011 Regional Planning and Community Challenge Planning Grant Programs from HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities. Awarded competitively, both programs work to expand housing choices, improve connections between employment centers and homes, and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital, and sustainable communities." Give me a break...was a bunch of garbage and wasted money....there's is not one bit of need for this either in times of great plenty but especially NOW! Who authorizes this stuff? I know you cannot do what needs to be done on your own..but you at least seem to be trying! Washington had best beware...they just might find that they have awakened an angry sleeping giant...the American Public!!
  • Danny Jenkins commented on 8/3/2011
    I found it to be a real slam at retirees and seniors in general when Congress and The President continually kept up the threat of no social security checks, no retired military pensions and even down to the point of no pay for the military fighiting the war! Not one time was there ever an expressed con concern about retired Congressmen, Presidents, or other Washingtonians getting their retirement, medical care or their present paychecks. I thought all of you folks were employed by US!
  • Thomas G commented on 8/3/2011
    The House's failure to pass the FAA legislation resulting in yet another republican job killing initiative resulting in the layoffs of thousands of FAA workers and bringing to a halt airport construction project all across the country was inexcusable. Further, this failure directly results in the loss of over a billion dollars in fees that should be in the Treasury. In a new poll released today...84% of the public disapproves of the job being done in congress....not in my lifetime have I ever seen things so pathetic. It is a sad state of affairs congressman that you couldn't even put the country first by voting to raise the debt limit, and then disappearing for the August recess without you and your colleagues addressing the FAA debacle...costing the taxpayers yet another billion dollars.
  • Ana Last Name commented on 8/4/2011
    Yes, those proposed "cuts" are justified. Couldn't Planned Parenthood & ACLU also be "cut" from receiving funds, since these institutions waste of millions of American's hard earned money?
  • mark dudley commented on 8/8/2011
    I agree that taxpayers should not fund the building of hospitals and medical facilities on school campuses, unless they are made available to the general public, where existing facilities are deemed insufficient. That money should be shifted elsewhere within the health care bill, i.e to cover prescription meds, etc. I think we would be going backwards if we just started taking the bill apart by removing $$.
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