Unexpectedly Intriguing!
February 8, 2006

Did you ever wonder what the most ineffective government programs are in the U.S.? We're not just talking about the programs that can't demonstrate if they're performing or not, but rather those programs that are proving to be actively wasting the tax dollars they receive through their chronic inability to achieve worthwhile results. In other words, truly ineffective government programs. Here's a short list of some of the least effective U.S. government programs, as identified by the White House's ExpectMore.gov web site:

Sample of Ineffective Government Programs
Department/Agency Program Budget (millions $USD)
2005 2006 2007*
Education Even Start 225 99 0
Energy Oil Technology 34 32 0
Health & Human Services Health Professions 450 295 159
Justice Juvenile Accountability Block Grants 54 49 0
Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance 1057 966 939
Transportation Amtrak 1207 1294 900
Treasury IRS Earned Income Tax Credit Compliance 165 167 168
Environmental Protection Agency EPA Ecological Research 87 85 80
Corp. for National & Community Service AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps 25 27 5
* Proposed

In all, 28 programs appear on ExpectMore.gov's list of ineffective programs, which account for 3.5% of the 805 federal government programs that were reviewed by the White House's Office of Management and Budget. Together, these programs consumed $19,793,000,000 ($19.8 billion USD) in 2005. In 2006, the amount Congress has enacted to support these programs adds up to $17,494,000,000 ($17.5 billion USD), and the President's recently released budget request for 2007 proposes spending $14,773,000,000 ($14.8 billion USD), a 15.6% decrease ($2.7 billion USD) from the amount budgeted for these programs for 2006. (All figures taken or derived from the spreadsheet for the Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Request assembled by the White House.)

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