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Saturday mail one of many untouchables in Congress

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: April 12, 2013

Remember the U.S. Postal Service's plan to end Saturday mail delivery in order to save money? It's not going to happen, at least not for a while. The USPS says it's delaying the plan because Congress refuses to give its blessing.

It's just another in a long line of things Congress can't live without. A report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office, which serves as the auditing arm of Congress, detailed numerous government programs that all do essentially the same thing — costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

The report was the third of its kind by the GAO since 2011. The first two found 66 areas where federal government action overlaps, duplicates or is fragmented. This one identified 17 more such areas.

The examples are enough to make your teeth hurt.

The government has three agencies (the Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Marine Fisheries Service) that are responsible for inspecting catfish! The GAO looked at 50 research and development contracts at the Department of Homeland Security and found 29 whose contracts overlapped with activities elsewhere in the department.

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