Fighting Gov't Waste: An Act Of Terrorism?

Weekly commentary by CBS Evening News chief Washington correspondent and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer.


Are you tired of all those stories we hear on a daily basis about government waste, fraud and corruption?

Well, the Washington Post has discovered that the new head of the General Services Administration — a political appointee named Lurita Alexis Doan — has found a way to insure we get more pleasant news.

She is trying to rein in her agency's independent inspector general Brian Miller, who's tough audits produced those reports of government waste. She is trying to cut his budget by five million dollars. Mind you, he's watching over the 56 billion dollars in government contracts that the agency manages.

But you gotta love her reasoning. She claims Miller's tough reports are intimidating government workers. I can imagine! — especially the lazy ones who don't care where our money goes, and the occasional few who may be dishonest.

Ronald Reagan said in dealing with the Russians, "Trust but verify." Why shouldn't we be keeping tabs when billions are at stake here at home?

Ms. Doan seems to worry more about the auditors being disruptive. According to the Post, she told a staff meeting, "There are two kinds of terrorism in the United States — the external kind, and internally, the Inspector Generals."

For the record, she denies the quote, but as we put all this into our "You can't make this stuff up" file, we note highlights from her biography and that of her Inspector General.

Before going into public service, she was a government contractor.

And, Inspector General Miller did have a connection to terrorism: He was once a federal prosecutor who helped bring the case against terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui.


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By Bob Schieffer
  • Patrick Kiker

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