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GAO finds billions in wasteful, duplicative federal spending

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GAOUnnecessary government programs are costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars annually, a new government study found.

The study, issued Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) following a three-year investigation, found 31 new areas of redundant or wasteful spending. Added to the findings of similar reports issued in 2011 and 2012, the study brings the total areas of duplicative spending to more than 160, according to the report, which also lays out scores of recommendations to counter the problem.

“We can’t afford to continue to operate the way we’re operating,” U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro told lawmakers at the end of a hearing on the report. “We can do better.”

The White House countered that it has made progress on addressing more than 100 of the previously identified areas of duplicative spending, and said President Obama’s soon-to-be-unveiled budget proposal will contain hundreds more in cuts, consolidations and savings.

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