There are 76 federal drug treatment or prevention programs spread out over 15 agencies. One of President Barack Obama's favorite causes, renewable energy, drew auditors' attention: They found seven separate wind energy initiatives that provide similar financial backing for the same project.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, who pushed the law requiring the GAO to look each year at duplication, estimates that overall the office has found $300 billion in overlap. Coburn is correct when he says it's immoral, given the country's fiscal mess, for Congress to ignore the GAO's findings.
But you can bet most members will do exactly that because, for them, protecting the status quo is Job One. Saving Saturday mail delivery is Exhibit A.