JUNE 24, 2011
A federal audit reveals that the U.S. government’s dysfunctional system for annually dispersing hundreds of billions of dollars in grants lacks transparency and is rife with waste, fraud and abuse.As a result, federal agencies reported an estimated $125.4 billion in “improper payments” for fiscal year 2010 alone. Just what taxpayers wanted to hear in the midst of record-high unemployment and a daunting $14 trillion national debt.Grants account for one-fifth of federal spending yet the awards process is a disaster and the government doesn’t even bother to monitor if the money is being spent properly, according to a report issued this week by the investigative arm of congress, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO).In the past two decades federal grants have risen from $135 billion to $608 billion, with the biggest chunk of money going to education, health and transportation. In all 23 government agencies doled out money to more than 1,670 programs, the GAO report says. The idea behind grants is to “achieve national objectives” and “respond to emerging trends.”Judicial Watch has exposed many of these federally-funded “national objectives” over the years. Just this week, JW reported that a Mexican La Raza group and its affiliates got $11 million in grants to promote its leftist, open-borders agenda. Around 60% of the money came via grants from the Department of Labor, which is headed by a former Californiacongresswoman (Hilda Solis) with close ties to the La Raza movement.This year Obama’s Labor Department also dished out $76 million in grants to give low-income juvenile delinquents a “second chance” by helping them get high school diplomas and jobs. The Department of Health recently issued more than $100 million in Obamacare grants to “reduce health disparities” between minorities and whites and the Department of Agriculture has distributed millions to revolutionize the inner city diet by providing affordable, healthy foods in poor neighborhoods.Last year the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a New York theater company a$700,000 grant to produce a play about climate change and an additional $141,002 to a Montana public university so that students could study dinosaur eggs in China.The list goes on and on and the money keeps pouring into dubious causes that should outrage law-abiding, tax-paying Americans. These weaknesses in grant oversight and accountability issues span the government, according to the GAO probe, which further points out “significant levels of improper payments.”
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