The DOE Shows The Other Government Bureacrats How To Really Waste Money

There is little that government does that the free market wouldn’t be capable of doing better, cheaper, and in a more timely manner with similar resources. All you have to do to figure that out is to compare Walmart to the DMV.

If you want a perfect example of what I’m talking about, just feast your eyes on this
story. And before you ask, no, it’s not satire — this is real…

“The Department of Energy program to compensate sick nuclear weapons plant workers has cost $74 million of taxpayers’ funds – and only one worker has been paid.

That one person in Washington state has received $15,000.

The $74 million has gone to paperwork involved in deciding whether workers were sickened by radiation or toxic chemicals on the job.

The DOE says it wants another $76 million for this year and next and a few legislative tweaks in the program. With that, DOE Undersecretary Robert Card said Tuesday, a few hundred more sick workers should be paid by the end of the year.

…The DOE and the Senate Energy Committee said the agency has received $74 million to administer the program.

So where has the money gone?

The DOE and its contractors are obliged to track down scarce documents, some decades old, on individual workers’ exposure to deadly materials used in bomb-making. A panel of physicians makes the final decision on whether an illness or death was job-related.

Of 23,000 applications in nearly four years, DOE has rejected about 5 percent and moved ahead on 1 percent, according to testimony Tuesday from the General Accounting Office.

But winning a DOE case only gives a worker ammunition to file for workers compensation insurance. For 20 percent to 50 percent of the cases, the GAO said, it will be tough to collect. That’s because companies that worked at bomb plants and their insurers have gone out of business over the years. Existing firms may choose to fight the claims in court.

As a result, Murkowski noted, a worker can make it all the way through the DOE system, and then, “you’re nowhere.”

“In my state of Iowa, almost no one will be paid,” Grassley said.”

Only a government agency could waste 73,985,000 out of $74 million dollars and then have the chutzpah to ask for another $76 million.

Furthermore, I find it incredibly ironic that we as a society get outraged, we bay for blood, when we see executives at Tyco & Enron making out like bandits while their companies go bankrupt. Yet, our own Federal government wastes hundreds of billions of dollars of our money every year — and yes, I mean hundreds of billions of dollars — on poorly run programs with reams of unnecessary red tape & staggering administrative costs and people just shrug their shoulders.

As far as I’m concerned, this should be a major breaking story at every newspaper in the country, but sadly, I understand why it isn’t. You see, we’ve gotten so used to the government frittering our money on comically useless government programs that this sort of story barely makes anyone bat an eyebrow anymore. And that is truly lamentable..

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