Posts Tagged ‘Citizens Against Government Waste’

Measuring Effectiveness, Facts and Course Corrections for Waste, Fraud, Abuse

August 22nd, 2018 Comments off


Effectiveness is the achievement of the desired objective.” – SoftwareMetrics report comparing private charities to the federal government. 


Across the left-right media divide, there are clear indicators of the scope of some problems that impacts every taxpayer, business, and citizen.

For example. Arguably the largest competitor to manufactured housing are federal, state, and local housing programs. These are designed to essentially make – mostly conventional housing – ‘cost less,’ by paying the difference through tax subsidies.  

But as even junior high school students used to learn decades ago, TANSTAAFL. “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.”  Someone always pays. It’s a fantasy to say that the ‘rich’ will pay, because capital flees when regulations and/or taxation gets too high. That’s being proved true in reverse in America, when as tax rates and regulations dropped, capital is reportedly returning to the U.S. at the rate of $100 billion dollars a month. 

So the issue of entitlement programs ought to periodically be examined, though several different lens. Among those lenses ought to be the question, how effective are the programs? 


Waste, Fraud, Abuse  

Fraud, waste, and abuse in government spending drain billions of taxpayer dollars…For 2015, the White House estimated a loss of $137 billion through improper payments,” per Deloitte. But a prior Washington Post indicated that the Obama Administration estimate was far too low.  

The federal government lost $261 billion, or 7 percent of total spending, to fraud and waste in 2012,” reported the Washington Post March 10, 2013. 

Medicaid fraud costs the federal government a staggering $140 billion annually,” said the National Review, in Sept. 2016. Note that was Medicaid alone, not other parts of federal spending.  

Since fiscal year 2003—when certain agencies were required by statute to begin reporting improper payments—cumulative improper payment estimates have totaled over $1 trillion,” according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).


But that doesn’t include the Department of Defense, said the GAO. 


CAGW’s Prime Cuts 

Citizens Against Government Waste’s (CAGW) has “…been publishing Prime Cuts since 1993.  The 2017 version contains 607 recommendations that would save taxpayers $336.2 billion in the first year and $2.3 trillion over five years.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget deficit will be $693 billion.  If all the Prime Cuts recommendations were adopted, a balanced budget could be achieved within three years.  Since CAGW’s inception in 1984, the implementation of its recommendations has helped save taxpayers $1.8 trillion.” 

Citizens Against Government Waste’s (CAGW) Sept 2017 report is linked here.



To see the 2017 Prime Cuts summary, click here or the graphic above.  


Federal Effectiveness vs Private Charity?

The top line of this could be as follows. Only 30 percent of federal spending goes to the actual recipient, per SoftwareMetrics, which in turn cited Cato and Charity Navigator.  If so, then 70 percent is going to administration, overhead, or the waste, fraud, and abuse cited above.


Their 3 page report and commentary by SoftwareMetrics that includes the above is linked here.



Putting Costs in Perspective  

Using the Heritage Foundation’s 2014 estimate that $22 Trillion has been spent on Great Society programs, and dividing that by 50 years, yields some $440,000,000,000 average annual cost.  

The following isn’t a proposal, rather, it’s a data point designed to make industry professionals and other readers step back and think about just how much money that represents. First, it could have essentially eliminated the federal debt.

Next, presuming

  • a typical homesite cost of $45,000 (that could be high or low, depending on location and market),
  • and an average manufactured home of $75,000
  • or $120,000 per home/site combined.  That $440 billion annually would be equal to 3,666,667 manufactured homes plus homesites combination.  

Rephrased, the federal spending is so great, that in less than three years the affordable housing crisis could be ended.  

Or here is another way to look at this huge cost. The spending is so great, that it could produce and more than pay for the number of total number of pre-HUD Code mobile homes, and post code manufactured homes currently in existence.



Some key manufactured home industry facts at a glance.


Ineffective, Rigged, and Corrupt System  

Washington, D.C. has become entrenched with this kind of inefficient, ineffective, and arguably corrupted system.  It took decades to build the existing system to this level. It won’t be undone overnight.  That means a patient, prudent approach is needed. 

The first step is understanding the issues. Articles like this are a part of that first step. 

The next logical step is to share that understanding with others. That can be as easy as emailing a link of this article to your circle, and ask people to give you their feedback.

Third, would be making prudent decisions on who to vote for and against. 

It should be self-evident that there are no perfect candidates. The choice always comes down to what appears to be the ‘lesser evil,’ or ‘the greater good.’ Excellence can and should be sought, but perfection among people isn’t achieved on earth. Thus, the need for a pragmatic ‘wheat and chaff’ approach.

As pragmatic political independents, we could editorially provide examples of who not to vote for; a great example is anyone promoting socialism. When “free” college, healthcare of any other ‘giveaway programs’ are touted by a politician, that’s a good indication that said politico is attempting to scam gullible voters. 

Those who want to ‘double down’ on failed programs would be another candidate for a no vote against them.

Finally, one must grasp just how amazing our economy could be if the federal bureaucracy were trimmed down to its historic core functions.  The states, localities – and best of all – private charities should be doing such functions. The ‘general welfare’ clause was never intended to do these functions, as is evidenced by the fact that such programs essentially didn’t exist until the 20th century.  

The goal of a dramatically smaller federal government would leave more money for everything else.  As the UC Davis Poverty Chart demonstrates, the free market was reducing poverty rates.   

Combining that with the boost provided by opening up affordable housing, including manufactured homes, in local markets through enhanced preemption and level-playing field financing would per the research in the related report below boost the national gross domestic product (GDP) by $2 trillion dollars annually.  That’s this morning’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

FEAR, a Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis, and the Manufactured Home Dilemma


“Thou Shall Not Steal,” $2 Trillion Annually Lost to Lack of Affordable Homes, Making the Manufactured Home Case

Racism – Getting Increasing Prosperity, Stability, Safety, and Certainty

Reinventing HUD’s role in Quality Affordable Housing, Reducing Poverty and Dependency

Waste! Fraud! Abuse! Its Impact on Business

April 18th, 2017 Comments off

(Pork Barrel credit: Citizens Against Government Waste)

As part two on our series on federal taxation, the Daily Business News spotlights today what private and federal research reveals to be hundreds of billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse. The Trump Administration has made tax reform a hallmark of their agenda, and President Donald J. Trump pledged to cut the waste and inefficiency of government.

Reforming spending and taxations, along with regulatory reform, are among the factors that caused so many manufactured home professionals to vote for the nation’s new president.

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)

With the national debt at a hefty $19.3 trillion and estimated by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to grow another $534 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2016, which runs through Oct. 2017, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) suggests 618 recommendations that would save taxpayers $644.1 billion in the first year and $2.6 trillion over five years. CAGW says it has helped save taxpayers $1.4 trillion since 1984 when it began.

As an example, Prime Cuts, CAGW’s house organ, proposes eliminating the Market Access Program (MAP), which aims to help agricultural producers promote U. S. products overseas, but is in fact a corporate welfare program that sends millions of dollars to profitable, large corporations and trade associations that can afford their own promotional efforts. This would save $1 billion over five years.

Prime Cuts goes after just about every department of government, attacking many programs that been considered sacrosanct for years. Eliminating the Rural Utilities Service, which originally provided electrification to rural areas and now expanded to provide broadband to those areas would save $9.6 billion in one year, $48.1 billion over five years; since FY 2002, members of Congress have added six earmarks for high energy cost grants totaling $113.5 million.

The sugar subsidy adds $1.5 billion to the budget annually, and additionally costs consumers of baked goods ”$3.5 billion more each year in artificially inflated prices for commodities that use sugar, including baked goods, beverages, candy, cereal, dairy products, snack foods, and hundreds of other products.” The program needs to be replaced with a market-oriented system.

Similarly, the U. S. dairy price supports add $1.1 billion annually to the budget, and eliminating the peanut subsidy would save taxpayers $275 million over five years.

The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (HMEP), named for U. S. Senator Ernest ‘Fritz’ Hollings was designed to increase the efficiency and profitability of American manufacturing firms, but amounts to corporate welfare for advisors and consultants. Potential savings if halted: $715 million in five years.

The Department of Defense has multiple contracts spread over numerous congressional districts, but representatives cry “national security” and the programs continue. One example is the M1 Abrams tank retrofit program. “In 2011, Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno told Congress that the Army had a sufficient number of tanks; the Pentagon proposed suspending production until 2017, saving $3 billion.” Earmarks to the budget have increased continually, adding jobs for constituents, including a $40 million project in FY 2016. Since FY 1994, there have been 39 earmarks for the M1 Abrams program, requested by at least 13 members of Congress, costing taxpayers $948.6 million.

The Southeastern Power Administration, which consists of 23 hydroelectric projects in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, southern Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, and the Tennessee Valley Authority’s electric power assets could be sold and privatized, saving $2.3 billion over five years. Fears of huge rate increases to consumers are unfounded.

Reducing the fraud and waste in the Medicare system would save taxpayers $21.7 billion over five years. Congress has fortunately enacted the Recovery Audit Contractor program which has recovered $11.3 billion for the Medicare Trust Fund since it began doing audits in 2005. RAC has an average accuracy rate of 96 percent.

As the average life expectancy has increased. raising the Normal Retirement age for Social Security beneficiaries would save $119.9 billion over the next ten years. Raising the eligibility age for Medicare recipients by two months every year until it reaches the age of 67 would reduce Medicare costs by ten percent by 2035, saving taxpayers $124.8 billion over the next ten years.

(Image credit: Citizens Against Government Waste)

Eliminating Community Development Block Grants in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would produce a $15 billion savings over ten years. Intended for infrastructure investments, housing rehabilitation, job creation, and public services in metropolitan cities and urban counties, the program has fallen short on both accountability and results.

For the entire CAGW report on savings in the Department of the Interior with its vast swaths of land that could be leased, the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services which has failed to meet its goal of reducing crime and has become an overlay of hundreds of million of dollars in waste and fraud, and the Davis-Bacon Act which requires employees of federally-contracted projects to be paid a prevailing wage, click here.

Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has similarly produced a report documenting 92 actions that could be taken by Congress or the executive branch to reduce waste and improve efficiency in 37 areas covering a wide range of governmental functions.

The Internal Revenue Service has referral programs to award individuals who help uncover tax noncompliance by others in its attempt to reduce the $385 billion taxes that go uncollected. This information referral process, which covers under reporting of income, false tax claims, failure to file a return and failure to withhold and pay taxes resulted in 87,000 referrals in 2015 and $209 million in tax assessments.

In Medicaid services, the GAO uncovered federally facilitated exchanges that allowed for duplicate coverage. One state reported duplicate coverage for 3,500 people from January to July 2014.

In 2014, the Departments of Defense (DOD), Energy (DOE), and Commerce (Commerce) collectively had signed agreements to establish 11 manufacturing innovation institutes involving partnerships with private nonfederal entities, but a review determined that agencies that could benefit the program, such as the Department of Labor, were not included in the projects.

For the full report, click here.  For our prior report on Tax Facts, Business and You, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comSubmitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News for MHProNews.