Interesting Ways the Government is Trying to Spend Tax Dollars Wisely

Posted on 08/03/2011

Intense debate over our country’s finances continues. Some Americans are pleading for additional spending cuts while others hope to see higher taxes on the wealthy. But in the midst of the debt ceiling discussion, some interesting money-saving moves are already being done in an effort to spend tax dollars wisely.

Stop Paying Dead People - The Federal government estimates they sent $125 billion in improper payments in 2010. These are checks written to the wrong people, for the wrong amount or for the wrong reasons, and sometimes these checks are even sent to dead people. The government created a forum to figure out how to stop these types of a mistakes, and if they’re successful it could save around $100 million a year.

Cutting Contracting Waste - The government recently set a goal of reducing spending on management support service contracts by 15% over the next year. That would save taxpayers $6 billion. Many agencies use contractors to carry out duties and services, but over the past decade spending on contracts quadrupled going from about $10 billion to $40 billion.

Shutting Down Data Centers - Since it takes less space to store data now than it did a decade ago, you’d think the government would need less storage space. But that’s not the case. Between 1998 and 2010, the Federal government quadrupled the number of data centers it operates, but they’ve only been using about one-fourth of the storage. The government plans to shut down 195 data centers in 2011 and another 178 data centers in 2012, saving more than $3 billion.

Stamping Out Post Offices - The US Postal Service plans to close about 3,700 post offices over the next year. They’re facing an $8.3 billion budget deficit and trying to make significant cuts. With more people moving to the Internet for their shipping needs, fewer post offices are needed. Another money-saving move includes stopping Saturday mail delivery which would save $3 billion a year.

By Alison Storm

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