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Published April 25, 2011, 04:30 AM

Government needs to slim down

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Time for the government to slim down. Yes, we’re talking about you, federal government. You should know by now that bad decisions, when it comes to food, are killers.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Time for the government to slim down.

Yes, we’re talking about you, federal government. You should know by now that bad decisions, when it comes to food, are killers.

Food safety

The Government Accountability Office spent several months looking for inefficient federal programs and issued its report recently.

The hands-down winner for most redundant use of taxpayer dollars goes to the 15 federal agencies overseeing food safety.

We’d applaud the GAO for uncovering this incredible bloat if the report contained anything new. But 10 years ago, the National Academy of Science told Congress the very same thing, and we’ve been ridiculing the redundancies every year for seven years running.

Our favorite bit of absurdity: The FDA is responsible for the safety of what’s inside chicken eggs, but the Department of Agriculture oversees the quality of the eggs themselves. Whatever that means.

Other redundancies

The GAO identified 33 other examples of redundancy in federal programs for education, defense, transportation, agriculture and housing. All told, the waste is estimated at $62 billion a year.

President Obama and House Republicans are looking for areas of agreement to put the federal budget and the deficit on a diet. Now they can’t say they don’t know where to start.

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