How Shortsighted Spending Cuts Increase Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

Source: Harry Stein and Hilary Gelfond, Center for American Progress, October 1, 2014

…This issue brief identifies four sectors of the budget where spending cuts have increased deficits: the Internal Revenue Service; inspectors general throughout the federal government; program integrity for major health care and disability programs; and funding to help Congress make better budget decisions, with a focus on the Government Accountability Office, or GAO. Official federal government sources calculate a return on investment for each of these sectors, which this paper uses to estimate the increase in waste, fraud, and abuse that resulted from budget cuts at these agencies since the end of fiscal year 2010. This issue brief applies return on investment ratios as carefully and conservatively as possible to avoid overstating the consequences of these budget cuts. Ultimately, the estimated increases in waste, fraud, and abuse presented here should be understood more as an approximation than an exact figure….