Wednesday Waste: Job Training for…

Wednesday Waste | May 9, 2012

According to the Government Accountability Office, the federal government spent over $14.5 billion in 2010 on at least 49 federal job-training programs, which have been characterized as producing “small, inconclusive,” impacts while running up costs.

Some of these job-training grants have been spent on salaries, as is the case with a Montana trade union that spent four times as much on salaries as the actual training for displaced workers. Others expenditures include training for “green” jobs that didn’t exist, trips to casinos, and pet care.

Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who commissioned the 2011 GAO report, cites the duplication programs as a problem on his website. “We spend millions of dollars on dozens of job training, yet thousands are looking for work.” Duplications occur when multiple agencies are assigned to handle similar programs, such as the 17 offender reentry programs, run by 5 different agencies, which costs American taxpayers $250 million a year.

There has been much debate about cutting the expenses of government. A good start may be to re-examine the job training programs that cost the taxpayers billions training workers for jobs that don’t exist.

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