(From The National Review)
Ask a politician how he wants to balance the budget and, nine times out of ten, he’ll give you a politician’s answer: cutting “waste, fraud, and abuse.” Normally, the correct response to this is contempt and mockery: What drives federal spending isn’t office supplies walking out the back door with a rogue secretary at the Merit Systems Protection Board — what drives federal spending is Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
And you know where there’s a lot of waste, fraud, and abuse? Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Identifying small-ball efficiencies at obscure federal agencies would not do very much to get federal spending under control, but getting a grip on the shenanigans that plague the major entitlements — especially the health-care entitlements — could mean substantial savings, “substantial” here meaning hundreds of billions of dollars.
Medicare and Medicaid together account for about $1 trillion in federal spending annually, and estimates suggest that $1 out of ever $10 of that spending is fraud. Some estimates go much higher.