The GAO is the nonpartisan watchdog agency of Congress. Its analysts report results based on facts and figures, not politics. Now that its report is here, it gives lawmakers an opportunity and a challenge. It is an opportunity because the report provides a way to solve the current budget impasse that threatens to shut down the federal government in two weeks if Republicans and Democrats can't agree on a spending plan.
Republicans and Democrats ought to set aside whatever cuts they advocated previously. Instead, they should pick up the GAO report and write it into legislation. Doing so would cut waste that is real, not imagined. It's a challenge, especially for Republicans, because actually enacting the GAO recommendations would cut the government based on fact, not ideology, and potentially spare dozens of effective federal programs on which millions of Americans rely each day. Coburn is no liberal, but he makes my case even better than I do, “This report also shows we could save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars every year without cutting services,” Coburn says.
Let me repeat that: save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars every year without cutting services. GAO proves that we can cut our budget deficit — without cutting services. Indeed, much of the GAO report takes direct aim at bloated Pentagon bureaucracies, not the non-defense spending Republicans want to wipe out. If Republicans refuse to go along, Democrats should force Republicans to prove why their partisan budget cuts are any better than budget cuts based nonpartisan fact.