You think solyndra was a waste of taxpayers money? Lets compare it against years of wasted taxpayers money
cut and paste king 2012/04/14 14:31:21
by Chris Edwards
Chronic Problem Areas
Causes of Cost Overruns
A Sampling of Cost Overruns
People tend not to spend other people's money as carefully as they spend their own. In governments, policymakers and administrators deal with large amounts of other people's money, and so wasteful spending is a big problem. One manifestation is the pattern of cost overruns on procurement and large government projects — projects that begin with a price tag of $1 billion often end up costing $2 billion. Federal cost overruns are chronic in budget areas such transportation, energy, defense, and technology.
The problem of cost overruns is widely recognized, but policymakers seem unable or unwilling to stop it. This essay provides examples of the problem and suggests reasons why it occurs. A table at the end includes a sampling of cost overruns on large federal projects. Cost overruns are illustrative of the persistent failures of federal management and provide one justification to downsize the government.
Chronic Problem Areas
Transportation. Large cost overruns are routine on federally funded transportation projects. A good example was the Springfield, Virginia, highway interchange project. When initiated, Virginia officials claimed that the project would cost $241 million, but it ended up costing $676 million by the time it was completed in 2007.1 To add insult to injury, Virginia officials said that the project was finished "on time and under budget," but the Washington Post correctly pointed out that "the final cost was nearly three times what was first projected."2
The most infamous budget buster in highway history was probably Boston's "Big Dig," or Central Artery project. In 1985, government officials claimed that the Big Dig would cost $2.6 billion and that it would be completed by 1998. The project's cost ballooned to $14.6 billion and it was finally completed in 2005.3 The federal share of the cost was $8.5 billion.
What happened? The Big Dig was grossly mismanaged, as the Boston Globe revealed in a detailed investigation.4 One problem was that the state government bailed out bungling Big Dig contractors on more than 3,000 separate occasions rather than demanding accountability from them. Contractors were essentially rewarded for delays and overruns with added payments and guaranteed profits. Auditors warned state politicians about developing problems, but they did not seem to care.5 As a final blow to the public, hundreds of leaks were found in the project's tunnels after it was completed, and a tunnel ceiling collapsed on a motorist.
Not all government highway projects are as mismanaged as the Big Dig, but cost overruns and delays are routine. A Government Accountability Office study found that half of the federal highway projects it examined had cost overruns of more than 25 percent.6
Similar problems plague other government transportation projects. One example was the grossly over-budget Denver International Airport. In 1989, both Congress and Denver voters agreed to the construction of a new $1.7 billion airport. But by the time the airport was opened in 1995 the cost had mushroomed to $4.8 billion.7
Energy. For decades, the federal government's management of large energy projects has been abysmal. A good example was the Clinch River Breeder Reactor, which was an experimental nuclear fission plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In 1971, the Atomic Energy Commission, which pushed the project, estimated that it would cost $400 million. But the project's estimated cost rose steadily during the 1970s, and by 1983 it had ballooned to $4 billion.8 The project was finally cancelled, but only after $1.7 billion had been spent, which was a lot of hard-earned taxpayer dollars to send down a black hole.
One huge and ongoing black hole for taxpayer dollars is the Department of Energy's project to clean up radioactive waste at its nuclear facilities. The GAO noted: "DOE's efforts to treat and dispose of high-level waste have been plagued with false starts and failures."9 The GAO figures that the total estimated costs of DOE's clean-ups jumped from $63 billion in 1996 to $105 billion in 2003.
Another ongoing financial drain in the DOE is the National Ignition Facility. In 1993, Congress approved construction of the NIF to research nuclear fusion. When completed, the NIF is supposed to focus about 200 high-power lasers at a small point to generate a big release of energy. The stadium-sized project is housed at the federal Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The NIF has been horribly managed: It is at least seven years behind schedule, and the total estimated cost has ballooned from $2.1 billion to $4.2 billion.10
FutureGen is another boondoggle. The project was launched in 2003 by President Bush with the goal of building a low-emission coal power plant and demonstrating carbon capture technologies. A single site at Mattoon, Illinois was chosen for the project. It was budgeted at $1 billion, but the cost has increased to at least $1.8 billion.11 In 2008, after $176 million had been spent, the Department of Energy decided to change course and cancel the Mattoon project. Alas, Congress would not allow it, and members from Illinois successfully secured new funding for the project in 2009.
These energy boondoggles are not isolated examples. The GAO has tracked dozens of major energy projects, and it reports that about one-third of them have costs that have at least doubled from initial estimates.12
Defense. The Pentagon is infamous for its wasteful procurement record. Former comptroller general David Walker said that the Pentagon has "a long-standing track record of over-promising and under-delivering with virtual impunity."13 The problem certainly is long-standing: the Pentagon building itself "was built upon a foundation of lies, secrecy, and cost overruns" in the 1940s.14 The building cost $75 million to build, more than double the originally planned $35 million.
Pentagon procurement problems have been widely reported. For example, the Washington Post reported in 2007 on the "litany of program delays and cost overruns" on a Navy ship program, which had the result that "the cost for the initial two ships was estimated at about $220 million each but now appear to cost up to double that."15
Or consider a 2007 Bloomberg story on new Air Force cargo planes:
Four of the Air Force's largest transport plane programs are behind schedule and over their target cost by a total of almost $1 billion, federal auditors said yesterday. Three Lockheed Martin programs and one Boeing program are still in early stages, and their combined cost is already $962 million, or more than 35 percent, over the target of $2.7 billion … these programs do not "involve huge technological leaps," yet all four "failed at basic systems-engineering practices," the [GAO] analysts said.16
Finally, here is the Wall Street Journal on a Navy helicopter program in 2008:
Despite billions of dollars in cost overruns and years of delay, Lockheed Martin Corp. and U.S. Navy officials are confident they will hang on to next year's funding for development of a new presidential helicopter … The program initially called for about $6.1 billion in spending to develop and build the next generation of so-called Marine One choppers…. [B]ut the expected cost of the program has now ballooned to an estimated $11.2 billion.17
In 2008, the GAO completed a review of the costs and schedules of 72 weapons programs. It found that the average cost overrun for development of the systems was 40 percent.18 Compared with prior findings on defense procurement, the GAO concluded that "DoD's acquisition outcomes appear increasingly suboptimal."19 A recent study by Deloitte Consulting concurs that defense cost overruns are getting worse.20
Another recent GAO report concluded "weapon programs continue to take longer, cost more, and deliver fewer capabilities than originally planned," and it noted that "systematic problems both at the strategic and at the program level" were to blame.21 Some problems are that weapon requirements and project managers are frequently changed during development, which makes cost control and accountability very difficult.
A bigger problem appears to be that when weapon systems are conceived, there is a tendency for project supporters to low-ball the costs in order to squeeze as many projects into the procurement pipeline as possible. The GAO noted that the military branches "overpromise capabilities and underestimate costs to capture the funding needed to start and sustain development programs."22
Adding to the problem is the fact that projects that turn out to be duds are hard to kill. Not only do defense contractors lobby to extend dubious programs, they are usually not punished for their failures and cost overruns. Indeed, the Pentagon has provided bonus payments, or "award fees," to contactors even if projects are behind schedule and over-budget.23
Still, Congress, not the Pentagon, deserves the main blame for cost overruns since it holds the purse strings. Rather than looking out for taxpayer interests, most members of Congress fight attempts to reduce defense spending in their districts, including spending on weapons that the Pentagon doesn't even want.
Defense contractors exploit this parochial self-interest of legislators, and they skillfully spread out research and production work across many states and districts to maximize congressional support. The $70 billion F/A-22 fighter program provides an example. The Washington Post noted in 2005 that the F/A-22 "is an economic engine, with 1,000 suppliers — and many jobs — in 42 states guaranteeing solid support in Congress."24 In 2009, Defense Secretary Robert Gates wanted to cancel further orders of the aircraft, but hundreds of lawmakers and state governors lobbied President Obama to keep the production lines going to preserve the 95,000 related jobs.25
A final example of how Congress boosts Pentagon costs is provided by an item slipped into a 2005 Iraq spending bill. The legislation contained language inserted by Senate Appropriator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) to prevent the Pentagon from selecting a single shipbuilder for the new DD(X) destroyer.26 That will ensure that the shipyard in Cochran's home state gets work, but it will likely increase overall costs for taxpayers.
Technology Projects. The federal government has huge management problems with regard to technology projects, such as installing computer systems. In 2004, the Department of Veterans Affairs scrapped a $472 million computer upgrade project in Florida as a complete failure after spending $265 million on it.27 In 2005, the Treasury Department's Inspector General found that $43 million of $173 million spent to install a new personnel computer system at the department had been wasted.28 The FBI's $600 million Trilogy project to update its computer system was $123 million over-budget, and a portion of the project was scrapped after spending about $100 million on it.29
The Federal Aviation Administration also has big problems. A GAO report in 2005 looked at air traffic control upgrade projects and found that the combined costs of 16 projects had risen from $8.9 billion to $14.6 billion.30 For example, a computer system called "STARS" had jumped in cost from $940 million to $2.8 billion, and it was seven years behind schedule.31 The Inspector General for the Department of Transportation noted that the expensive project was "facing obsolescence" even before it was completed.32
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has long had major cost overrun problems, such as on its space station program. A GAO report in 2009 found that 10 of 13 major projects examined had substantial cost overruns or schedule delays.33 Alan Stern, a former NASA associate administrator, recently noted that "our space program is run inefficiently, and without sufficient regard to cost performance," and further noted that costs overruns are a "cancer" on the agency.34
Around Washington. It is hard for members of Congress not to be aware of chronic government cost overruns and mismanagement given the many examples in the nation's capital. Members need look no further than the new Capitol Visitor Center, which jumped in cost from an estimated $265 million in 2000 to $621 million when it was completed in 2008.35
If members of Congress head across town for an evening at the Kennedy Center, they may notice the recent parking lot upgrade. That project tripled in cost as it was being completed. Also, they may enjoy the renovations of the Kennedy Center's Opera House and Concert Hall — those projects were also substantially over-budget.36
If members of Congress prefer baseball, they could venture to Washington's new taxpayer-financed baseball stadium. It jumped in cost from $435 million when the city's mayor was getting approval for the project, to a final price tag of $693 million.37 At least with this project, it was mainly city taxpayers footing the bill, not federal taxpayers.
Causes of Cost Overruns
Cost overruns have plagued governments for decades, even centuries. In a study for the National Bureau of Economic Research, two economists compared actual costs to originally estimated costs for a sample of large government projects in the United States dating back to the early 19th century.38 They found a pattern of large cost overruns, and they concluded that the problem has gotten worse in recent decades. Their calculations included the following projects: the Erie Canal (46 percent cost overrun), Panama Canal (106 percent), Hoover Dam (12 percent), Louisiana Superdome (366 percent), and the renovation of Yankee Stadium in the 1970s (317 percent).
One source of these problems is old-fashioned bungling by administrators. One recent example stemmed from the rush to hire airport screeners for the Transportation Security Administration in 2002. The initial contract for the recruiting work was for $104 million, but the cost ballooned to $741 million after many bureaucratic mistakes. The Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security concluded that the TSA did virtually no planning for the effort and it ignored warnings that project costs were far exceeding the approved budget.39
Projects that are financed by the federal government and carried out by state governments, such as highway projects, are particularly prone to mismanagement. In such activities, the states have little incentive to manage funds wisely because they know that federal taxpayers are footing much of the bill. When cost overruns occur, federal officials point their fingers at state officials. In turn, state officials point their fingers at contractors for their poor performance, as occurred with the Big Dig. No level of government takes responsibility, and taxpayers are left holding the bag.
However, there is more to cost overruns than bureaucratic failure or political buck-passing. There is also a strong incentive for all the supporters of spending projects — in Congress, the bureaucracy, and lobby groups — to low-ball initial estimates of costs in order to receive legislative approval. Once a program receives approval and it moves ahead, it becomes very difficult to terminate even if it becomes an obvious boondoggle.
Consider a recent scandal in which Air Force officials tried to push through an inflated contract for Boeing tanker airplanes. A government report on the scandal quotes an Air Force official saying, "numbers were contorted a lot of different ways to sell the program."40 That strategy of manipulating numbers to gain support for projects is probably common in many agencies, as it has been, for example, in the Army Corps of Engineers.
Consider a Navy project to purchase coastal patrol ships from Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. The Washington Post reported in 2007 that the cost for each ship would be at least $350 million, or 59 percent greater than the originally budgeted $220 million.41 One cause of the cost increase was that "the Navy said its original cost estimate did not factor in some management costs."42 That was convenient!
This Post story further noted that "the program suffered from excess optimism and a contract structure that did not encourage Navy or Lockheed officials to determine the realistic cost of the ships."43 Thus, what seems to occur in large federal contracts is an implicit understanding between government officials and major contractors to let costs float up over time, and to hope that there won't be too much fuss about it on Capitol Hill.
Sometimes when cost overruns occur, federal agencies and contractors point fingers at each other, but maybe that is just part of the game. The cost of the Marine One helicopter program soared from $6.1 billion in 2005 to $11.2 billion in 2008. The contractor, Lockheed Martin, blamed the Pentagon for adding 1,900 new requirements for the helicopters, but the Pentagon denies that version of the story.44 Either way, Congress appropriates the extra money and taxpayers foot the bill.
A study by Danish economists in 2002 looked at 258 government transportation projects in the United States and abroad. They found that cost overruns are routine, and they concluded that overruns stem from government deceit, not honest errors.45 Ninety percent of the projects they examined had cost overruns, with an average overrun of 28 percent. The study concluded that lying, or intentional deception, by public officials was the source of the problem: "Project promoters routinely ignore, hide, or otherwise leave out important project costs and risks in order to make total costs appear low" in order to gain initial project approval.46
This has been called a "salami strategy." Project costs are revealed to taxpayers one slice at a time in the hope that a project is too far along to cancel when the truth comes out. A classic example of the salami strategy was an airport security contract given to Unisys Corporation. In 2005, auditors found that Unisys overbilled the federal government by 171,000 hours on a $1 billion technology contract designed to improve airport security. The Washington Post reported:
The $1 billion ceiling cited in contract documents at the time was simply a guess to get the project started, according to Patrick Schambach, the former chief information officer at the TSA who managed the project. Government officials who spoke at a background briefing said last week that they knew that the project would cost closer to $3 billion but used the $1 billion figure because it would be more palatable to Congress.47
Such low-balling of initial costs is not only a pattern with government contracts, it is also a pattern with federal entitlement programs. "Entitlement" programs are those which provide ongoing subsidies to individuals that don't have to be renewed in annual spending bills. When entitlement programs are created or expanded, program supporters low-ball their cost estimates in order to gain legislative approval. Oftentimes, policymakers pretend to be frugal by putting limits on the benefits to hold the costs down on paper. But such limits usually don't work or they are later repealed. When costs inevitably soar, politicians hold hearings to cast blame elsewhere, such as on drug firms or hospitals.
When Medicare Part A was enacted in 1965, costs were projected to rise to $9 billion by 1990, but the actual costs were $67 billion that year.48 When home care benefits were added to Medicare in 1988, they were expected to cost $4 billion by 1993, but they ended up costing $10 billion. When the 1996 farm law was passed, subsidies were expected to cost $47 billion in total between 1996 to 2002, but they ended up costing $121 billion.49
The 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill is also an interesting case study. To secure passage for the bill, the Bush administration promised that the legislation would cost $400 billion in the first 10 years, but after passage it was revealed that the true cost would be $534 billion, one-third more than had been promised. Subsequent investigations revealed that Medicare's chief cost analyst knew about the higher costs months before the legislation was enacted, but he was threatened with termination by his political overlords if he made that knowledge public.50
The ultimate culpability for cost overruns of all types lies with Congress. Members who secure projects for their districts have little, if any, interest in cost efficiencies. A sad reality in Congress is that costs are benefits to politicians. What counts to members of Congress is the amount of federal cash brought home to their states and districts. If a highway or defense project in a member's state is behind schedule and over-budget, it simply means a bigger payoff to home-state beneficiaries.
What is the solution for chronic cost overruns? Budget experts have suggested numerous ways to reform the procurement process, which would certainly be a step forward.51 But a more fundamental reform is to terminate and privatize as many federal activities as possible, and move funding for state activities, such as highways, back to the states. That way, federal policymakers could focus on ensuring that the few needed areas of federal spending, such as defense, are carried out as efficiently as possible.
A Sampling of Cost Overruns
The following table summarizes reported cost overruns on a variety of federal projects, past and present. The table compares the original cost estimates at the time that the projects were initiated to the most recent comparable estimates. Nearly all of the data in the table are official estimates from the GAO or official estimates as reported in the Washington Post.
A Sampling of Federal Cost Overruns
(All figures in nominal dollars, except where noted)
Cost Estimate and Date of Estimate
Recent or Final Estimate
Boston Big Dig highway project52
Virginia Springfield interchange53
Denver International Airport54
Hiring of airport security screeners55
Airport security technology upgrade56
Hanford nuclear waste clean-up57
All nuclear waste sites clean-up58
National Ignition Facility59
Clinch River Breeder Reactor60
FutureGen clean coal project62
Defense Development Costs ($2008)63
Global Hawk surveillance plane
Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle
Extended Range Munitions
DDG 1000 destroyer
V-22 Osprey helicopter
Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter
Space Based Infrared System High
Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter
NPOESS Satellite System
Coastal Patrol Ships64
Joint Strike Fighter65
Marine One (VH-71) helicopters66
Coast Guard, NSC ships, per unit67
Air traffic control modernization68
FBI Trilogy computer system69
Pentagon airborne laser system70
Border radiation detectors71
International Space Station72
Mars Science Laboratory73
Capitol Visitor Center75
Kennedy Center opera house76
Kennedy Center concert hall77
Kennedy Center parking lot78
1 Michael Shear, "Springfield Interchange Project Is Defended," Washington Post, November 26, 2002.
2 Eric Weiss, "In Mixing Bowl, Va. Sees Recipe for Success," Washington Post, July 19, 2007.
3 See the Boston Globe's "Easy Pass" series of reports by Raphael Lewis and Sean Murphy, www.boston.com/globe/metro/packages/bechtel.
4 See the Boston Globe's "Easy Pass" series of reports by Raphael Lewis and Sean Murphy, www.boston.com/globe/metro/packages/bechtel.
5 Amy Goldstein, "Myriad Reports Pointed to Big Dig's Problems," Washington Post, July 23, 2006.
6 Government Accountability Office, "Federal Aid Highways: Cost and Oversight of Major Highway and Bridge Projects: Issues and Options," GAO-03-764T, May 8, 2003, p. 6.
7 Alan Altshuler and David Luberoff, Megaprojects (Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2003), p. 167.
8 Congressional Budget Office, "Comparative Analysis of Alternative Financing Plans for the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project," September 20, 1983.
9 GAO, "Nuclear Waste: Challenges to Achieving Potential Savings in DOE's High-Level Waste Cleanup Program," GAO-03-593, June 2003, p. 17.
10 GAO, "National Ignition Facility: Management and Oversight Failures Caused Major Cost Overruns and Schedule Delays," GAO/RCED-00-141, August 2000, p. 4.
11 Department of Energy, "FutureGen Clean Coal Projects," undated, www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/powersystems/futuregen. And see Katherine Ling, "Climate: DOE Moves Ahead While Ill. Lawmakers Plot Last Stand to Save FutureGen," Environment and Energy Daily, April 16, 2008.
12 GAO, "Department of Energy: Status of Contract and Project Management Reforms," GAO-03-570T, March 20, 2003, p. 3.
13 R. Jeffrey Smith, "Tanker Inquiry Finds Rumsfeld's Attention Was Elsewhere," Washington Post, June 20, 2006.
14 James Mann, "The House That War Built," Washington Post, June 17, 2007.
15 Zachary Goldfarb, "Rising Costs Plague Navy's Shipbuilding Program," Washington Post, October 8, 2007.
16 Tony Capaccio, "Air Force Programs Late, Over Budget, Audit Finds," Washington Post, March 8, 2007.
17 August Cole, "Lockheed Expects Presidential-Helicopter Funding Despite Overruns," Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2008.
18 GAO, "Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs," GAO-08-467SP, March 2008, p. 4.
19 GAO, "Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs," GAO-08-467SP, March 2008, highlights page.
20 Deloitte study described in Sandra Irwin, "Weapons Cost Overruns: From Bad to Worse," National Defense, January 1, 2009.
21 GAO, "Defense Acquisitions: Better Weapon Program Outcomes Require Discipline, Accountability, and Fundamental Changes in the Acquisition Environment," GAO-08-782T, June 3, 2008, highlights page.
22 GAO, "Defense Acquisitions: Better Weapon Program Outcomes Require Discipline, Accountability, and Fundamental Changes in the Acquisition Environment," GAO-08-782T, June 3, 2008, highlights page.
23 Charles R. Babcock, "Big Rewards for Defense Firms," Washington Post, April 17, 2006.
24 Renae Merle, "Military Jet Faces a Fight to Fit In," Washington Post, April 19, 2005.
25 Gopal Ratnam and Edmond Lococo, "Unemployment Fighter," Washington Times, March 5, 2009.
26 Shailagh Murray, "$82 Billion Bill Advances with War Funds, Add-Ons," Washington Post, May 4, 2005.
27 Paul de la Garza and Stephen Nohlgren, "VA Yanks Troubled Computer System," St. Petersburg Times, July 27, 2004.
28 Stephen Barr, "Federal Diary," Washington Post, March 10, 2005.
29 Curt Anderson, "FBI Nears Completion of Computer Upgrade," Associated Press, March 26, 2004. See also Jonathan Krin, "FBI Rejects Its New Case File Software," Washington Post, January 14, 2005.
30 Reuters, "Cost Increases, Delays Cited in FAA Programs," Washington Post, June 1, 2005.
31 Reuters, "Cost Increases, Delays Cited in FAA Programs," Washington Post, June 1, 2005.
32 Sara Kehaulani Goo, "DOT Says Air Traffic Overhaul Is Flawed," Washington Post, November 20, 2004.
33 GAO, "NASA: Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects," GAO-09-306SP, March 2009.
34 Quoted in Robert Block and Mark Matthews, "Out-of-This-World Missions, and Costs," Los Angeles Times, December 19, 2008.
35 Ashley Halsey III, "6 Years Later, Capitol Visitor Center Puts Out Long-Awaited Welcome Mat," Washington Post, December 1, 2008.
36 Jacqueline Trescott, "GAO Cites Cost Overruns at Kennedy Center," Washington Post, April 6, 2005.
37 David Nakamura, "New Baseball Cost Study Could Take 5 Months," Washington Post, December 5, 2004. And see Tim Lenke, "Ballpark's Final Tag: $693 million," Washington Times, January 7, 2009.
38 Stanley Engerman and Kenneth Sokoloff, "Digging the Dirt at Public Expense: Governance in the Building of the Erie Canal and Other Public Works," National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper no. 10965, December 2004.
39 Robert O'Harrow Jr., "Report Faults TSA Security Contracting," Washington Post, January 5, 2006.
40 R. Jeffrey Smith, "E-Mails Detail Air Force Push for Boeing Deal," Washington Post, June 7, 2005.
41 Renae Merle, "Costs Ballooning for New Combat Ship," Washington Post, March 1, 2007.
42 Renae Merle, "Costs Ballooning for New Combat Ship," Washington Post, March 1, 2007.
43 Renae Merle, "Costs Ballooning for New Combat Ship," Washington Post, March 1, 2007.
44 Peter Baker, "Cost Nearly Doubles for Marine One Fleet," Washington Post, March 17, 2008.
45 Bent Flyvbjerg, Mette Skamris Holm, and Soren Buhl, "Underestimating Cost in Public Works Projects: Error or Lie?" Journal of the American Planning Association, Summer 2002.
46 Bent Flyvbjerg, Mette Skamris Holm, and Soren Buhl, "Underestimating Cost in Public Works Projects: Error or Lie?" Journal of the American Planning Association, Summer 2002.
47 Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Scott Higham, "Contractor Accused of Overbilling U.S." Washington Post, October 23, 2005.
48 Chris Edwards, "Government Schemes Cost More Than Promised," Cato Institute Tax & Budget Bulletin no. 17, September 2003.
49 Congressional Budget Office estimates cited in David Orden, Robert Paarlberg, and Terry Roe, Policy Reform In American Agriculture, 1999, pp. 152, 164.
50 Amy Goldstein, "Official Says He Was Told to Withhold Medicare Data," Washington Post, March 13, 2004.
51 For example, see www.pogo.org/investigations/contract-oversight.
52 See the Boston Globe's "Easy Pass" series of reports by Raphael Lewis and Sean Murphy, www.boston.com/globe/metro/packages/bechtel.
53 Michael Shear, "Springfield Interchange Project Is Defended," Washington Post, November 26, 2002.
54 Alan Altshuler and David Luberoff, Megaprojects (Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2003), p. 167.
55 Robert O'Harrow Jr., "Report Faults TSA Security Contracting," Washington Post, January 5, 2006.
56 Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Scott Higham, "Contractor Accused of Overbilling U.S." Washington Post, October 23, 2005.
57 Lisa Stiffler, "Troubled Hanford cleanup has state mulling lawsuit," Seattle Post Intelligencer, March 20, 2008.
58 GAO, "Nuclear Waste: Challenges to Achieving Potential Savings in DOE's High-Level Waste Cleanup Program," GAO-03-593, June 2003, p. 17.
59 GAO, "National Ignition Facility: Management and Oversight Failures Caused Major Cost Overruns and Schedule Delays," GAO/RCED-00-141, August 2000, p. 4.
60 CBO, "Comparative Analysis of Alternative Financing Plans for the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project," September 20, 1983.
61 Robert Lee Holtz and Lianne Hart, "A Costly Monument to 'Big Science' Difficulties; Research: Physicists and Displaced Families Ponder Legacy of $2-Billion Holes in the Ground Left From Super Collider Project," Los Angeles Times, October 21, 1993.
62 Department of Energy, "FutureGen Clean Coal Projects," undated, www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/powersystems/futuregen. And see Katherine Ling, "Climate: DOE Moves Ahead While Ill. Lawmakers Plot Last Stand to Save FutureGen," Environment and Energy Daily, April 16, 2008.
63 These 10 defense items are selected from 72 in GAO, "Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs," GAO-08-467SP, March 2008.
64 Renae Merle, "Costs Ballooning for New Combat Ship," Washington Post, March 1, 2007.
65 Tony Capaccio, "GAO Says Joint Strike Fighter Cost Is Rising," Washington Post, March 12, 2008.
66 Peter Baker, "Cost Nearly Doubles for Marine One Fleet," Washington Post, March 17, 2008.
67 Renae Merle and Spencer Hsu, "Coast Guard Cited in Report on Flawed Ship," Washington Post, January 27, 2007.
68 Reuters, "Cost Increases, Delays Cited in FAA Programs," Washington Post, June 1, 2005.
69 Curt Anderson, "FBI Nears Completion of Computer Upgrade," Associated Press, March 26, 2004.
70 Bradley Graham, "Pentagon Laser Project Exceeds Cost Estimates, GAO Says," Washington Post, May 19, 2004.
71 Katherine McIntire Peters, "DHS Radiation Detection Program May Exceed Cost Estimates by $1 Billion, GAO Says," Govexec.com, September 23, 2008.
72 Marcia S. Smith, "NASA's Space Station Program: Evolution and Current Status," Congressional Research Service, April 4, 2001.
73 GAO, "NASA: Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects," GAO-09-306SP, March 2009, p. 3.
74 GAO, "NASA: Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects," GAO-09-306SP, March 2009, p. 25.
75 Ashley Halsey III, "6 Years Later, Capitol Visitor Center Puts Out Long-Awaited Welcome Mat," Washington Post, December 1, 2008.
76 Jacqueline Trescott, "GAO Cites Cost Overruns at Kennedy Center," Washington Post, April 6, 2005.
77 Jacqueline Trescott, "GAO Cites Cost Overruns at Kennedy Center," Washington Post, April 6, 2005.
78 Jacqueline Trescott, "GAO Cites Cost Overruns at Kennedy Center," Washington Post, April 6, 2005.
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