Politics

Rep. Ted Budd Is Ready for the Challenge of Beating Government Waste and Fraud

WASHINGTON—North Carolina Republican Rep. Ted Budd is a man on a mission to solve what he calls a “solvable” problem that causes the loss of hundreds of billions of tax dollars every year.

Asked why he is taking on a challenge that has defeated Democrats and Republicans in the nations capital for decades, Budd doesnt hesitate to put the problem of waste, fraud, and corruption into perspective.

“It seems so doable, and its intriguing because its such a problem and its such a brand that the government has,” Budd told The Epoch Times Thursday. “It seems so solvable. Thats the short answer.”

Examples that illustrate the problem come readily to hand for Budd, who was first elected to the House of Representatives from the Tarheel States 13th congressional district in 2016.

“What are you doing when youve got probably $170 billion just in improper payments a year and thats just one thing,” he said. “You see 50-year-old software systems, I mean, it just goes on and on and on.”

Budd was referring to a recent Government Accounting Office (GAO) analysis that estimated the government sent $175 billion to the wrong or undeserving recipients in 2019, mostly in the form of Social Security and Medicare payments.

“Something is wrong in our structure here that we cant solve visible problems that are not partisan,” Budd explained. He thinks he was elected at an opportune moment to address such problems.

“I didnt say I am optimistic. My intention here is I know for a fact that I will not be successful if I dont attempt it. But the timing might be right. I might be in the right place when the lightning strikes, when the mood in both parties, in both houses of Congress, in the administration, line up,” he said.

The issue of government agencies relying on obsolete computer technology is front and center for Budd, who in a recent “Budds Budget Busters” series statement pointed out that GAO estimates 75 percent of the governments annual information technology spending goes to supporting outdated legacy software programs.

“The Department of Justice and the Social Security Administration still operate a programming code from the 1950s and 1960s. The Department of the Treasury still uses a pair of nearly 60-year-old systems,” he said in the statement.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs maintains veterans benefits on a more than 50-year-old system. Most incredibly, the Department of Defense uses an over 50-year-old system of 8-inch floppy disks in the operation of our countrys nuclear arsenal,” he added, incredulously.

“As the tech revolution continues to affect every aspect of our lives, we have to make sure that our government isnt left in the dust. The private sector can be a vital resource for demonstrating how to effectively modernize using cutting edge tools like cloud technology,” Budd said.

“Thats why Congress should perform enhanced oversight in the form of hearings and testimony and enact new legislation where it would be needed. Agencies and departments should be held accountable for the glacial pace of technological change in the federal bureaucracy.”

In another example, Budd said the federal government pays for more than 10,000 buildings that are either partially or completely unused and estimated selling them could save taxpayers at least $15 billion in five years.

“Nothing should be more frustrating to a taxpayer than to see their hard-earned dollars pay to lease vacant buildings that the federal government has no intention of ever using,” Budd said in a statement.

“This is a prime example of what happens when federal agencies are not held accountable for failing to use basic best practiRead More – Source