U.S. Govt So Big It Can’t Even Track How Many Programs It Funds

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 16: A storm cloud hangs over the U.S. Capitol Building on May 16, 2022 in Washington, DC. This week the U.S. Senate is expected to take up a vote on a $40 billion package of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • The multitrillion-dolar federal government literally has gotten so big that it doesn’t have an inventory of all federal programs despite a 2011 law that says they must be tracked.
  • Part of the problem is government agencies don’t agree on what constitutes a federal program, according to a new U.S. Government Accountability Office report.
  • “This lack of a common definition – or at least a way to collect and present comparable information for programs that are defined differently – has hindered past efforts to develop an inventory,” according to the report.

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