Yesterday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a 345-page report detailing 34 major areas of wasteful government spending that Sen. Tom Coburn (R–OK) says could save the federal government $100 billion or more every year. Conservatives jumped on the news, with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R–VA) office releasing a statement:“That is why House Republicans are hard at work cutting spending and getting our fiscal house in order – we need to prevent taxpayer dollars from being wasted and put Washington on a budget so we begin to live within our means and get people back to work”
Liberals, however, greeted the report with polite applause but then predicted nothing would come of it. Why is the left so uninterested in eliminating wasteful government spending? Why can’t progressive politicians agree to cut programs that even the GAO identifies as duplicative or ineffective? The answer can be found in the left’s reaction to two reports issued in the last weeks, one by bailed-out Goldman Sachs and the other by failed stimulus architect Mark Zandi.