Katie Couric's Notebook: Government redundancies

CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric.

You don't often hear the words "federal government" and "efficient" in the same sentence.

Americans have grumbled about bureaucratic waste for generations. Still, you might be surprised by the level of duplication outlined in a new Congressional report.

The Government Accountability Office did the math and counted 82 separate federal programs to improve teacher quality, 80 to help the poor with transportation, 47 for employment and job training. The list goes on and on.

Many of these are worthy programs, but Republican Senator Tom Coburn estimates streamlining them could save up to $200 billion over the next decade. Previous efforts to do that have been blocked by politicians in both parties - worried it could cost them votes.

But with yet another $1.5 trillion budget deficit this year our representatives should carefully consider another cost - the cost of doing nothing.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.