Feds spend $31,000 per household, but 1 in 5 programs fail

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Uncle Sam is on par to spend about $31,000 per household in America this year, but a report finds that 22 percent of the federal government's programs don't work and should be junked.

The failed programs cost American taxpayers $123 billion, said the Senate Republican Policy Committee, but there has been little success killing them. Of the rest, 18 percent were found to be "effective," 31 percent "moderately effective," and 29 percent "adequate."

"These programs need to be scaled back, reformed so they work, or ended," said the policy group. "The federal government has grown too big, too unaccountable, and too wasteful. The American people, the president, and independent evaluators have all put forward programs for termination, yet many of these programs continue on, with little action from Congress. The federal government will spend $31,000 per household this year, among the highest in American history, and $5,000 more than in 2008. The question has to be asked: are we getting our money's worth?" asked the group, headed by Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso.

He and other are pushing the administration to return to independently grading federal programs for their effectiveness. Under Obama, the grading system was killed and now the agencies grade themselves.

Barrasso is urging the Senate to play its role by conducting more oversight of wasteful federal programs.

"Congress has to end the permanency of government programs. As authorizations for programs expire, Congress must scrutinize them for reauthorization; and then vote to continue, reform, or end them," he said, blaming Democrats. It is time for the Senate to return to regular order," said Barrasso, "and do its job as a watchdog over taxpayer dollars."