FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Washington hard at work.
ABC News reports our government is just out with a study of a study of studies.
Try to stay with us here.
Back in 2010, Defense Secretary Robert Gates complained that his department was "awash in taskings for reports and studies." He wanted to know how much they cost.
So the Pentagon commissioned a study to find out how much it really costs to produce all those studies.
Fast forward two years: The Pentagon review was still going on - so Congress asked the government accountability office to check in on them.
Now the GAO is out with its report - and the results aren't too promising.
They found only nine studies that had been reviewed by the Pentagon review - in two years - and the military was unable to "readily retrieve documentation" for six of those nine reports.
As for how much all this costs - don't ask. The GAO says the Pentagon's approach "is not fully consistent with relevant cost estimating best practices and cost accounting standards." Meaning these are our tax dollars they can't keep track of.
Meanwhile, try understanding what these reports even say:
"GAO's cost guide states that cost estimates should include all costs, but allows flexibility for the estimates to exclude costs where information is limited as long as steps are taken to clearly define and document what costs are included or excluded."
Perhaps it should come as no surprise. Anytime anything goes wrong, or someone drops the ball in Washington, politicians like to start a study or name a commission to investigate.
The hope is that by the time the results actually come out, we've all forgotten about whatever it was in the first place.
Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when the government is issuing a study of a study of studies?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.
That probably should read,
Those who can do, do.
Those who can't do, study. ;)
It means kinda what Forest Gump said a study is a study and you don't know what your gona get. But it is simple a form of work to keep us all making work on stuff that really means nothing that what it imeans. A way that the other guy's job gets cut but I am safe.
Jack, It only provides more fodder for SNL.
David, Las Vegas
The government is trying to investigate it's own investigators. The problem with all of this investigating is it does nothing to correct the problem. For each investigation it conducts it then finds that the investigation to investigate needs some investigating. Perhaps we need to now investigate the investigation of the investigation that was investigated to determine what was or was not investigated by the investigator.. Laurel and Hardy use to do a similar skit called "Who's on First."
This is just another example of officials/politicians drowning us all in silliness – expensive, time-consuming silliness. Next, they might even take seriously and order an investigation into the big question of How Many Angels Can Dance on the Head of a Pin? I really, really despair.
Martha, Rew, PA
It means that the work methods scientific process of Frank Gilbreth is being applied. Science isn't Death's sword; Ignorance is.
It must be coming from the Department of Redunancy Department.
You should have gotten a degree in studying studies. Or something like that. I'm sure it would have paid you more.
It means no one can make the right decisions and that the agenda of the study helps special interests trying to sneak a favor
Congress blows money on studies. It's an old, corny joke.
You tell me that Congress invested in a study of how they blow money on studies.
And then–this last study fails......
So Congress invests in a study on the study of congressional studies.
Gee–I think Congress has their answer!
It means they are trying to fool us into believing they are working and doing something important. I don't think it will bring thier poll numbers up though. It's too late for that. Most of us know by now the mission of the congress is to do nothing while making nothing look like the people's work. Congessional 'studies' are probably the least important 'let's make them think we are working' tasks in the nation's history.
It means simply, that John Boehner and his congressional buddies have no clue or enough common sense to figure out anything w/out the help of special interests...aka lobbyists. And they want to rein in spending?? What a joke!!
It means that government is right where President Obama and his supporters want it-wasteful, loaded with garbage, and unaccountable. However, as long as the masses keep getting their government checks, nothing will be done about it.....
Jack, I'll have to study that and get back to you. It MEANS there is NO common sense and so they start up all of these studies........they've been doing this as long as I can remember and I'm 64. These things our elected officials cannot figure out should be put up to a vote to the AMERICAN PEOPLE~those that care about our country will come out and vote.
It means the Government, and particularly the Military, has gotten so big, that they think the people work for them, instead of the other way around. Pity the poor Congressman who is so unpatriotic, as to even think about cutting the Military budget. The Military has people brainwashed into believing, that if you cut one single dollar from their budget, the Cubans will team up with Mexicans and make slaves out of all of us. Ther Military is so powerful that they can defeat candidates that threaten to cut their budget, so it will never happen. They don't care that they have bankrupted the USA with their loser crusades. If the Government collapses, they will just park a few tanks around the White House and take over. See Egypt. Doug, Pepperell, MA.
I think it means government accountability is an oxymoron but I'll have to study it to be sure.
It's just more wasteful spending but helps the unemployment numbers look better. We have the audacity to call Afghansitan corrupt when we should be looking in our own back yard.
This is a joke right?
It was my job to do studies when I was on the Government payroll. I never heard of such. So now, that I have heard of such, let's take the Simpson-Bowles Study. The study was done and it was a good sound study. I have not read it but I have heard both of those men talk about it many times. The first study on THE STUDY was to tell the men who did the study that they were stupid and nothing they recommended could be accomplished because they were not happy with the recommendations. This study was done by the Republicans. The study on the study is probably some really smart people who were telling the Republicans that the Republican Study was a waste of time. So now you know what the next study will be.
Jack, that sounds redundant, redundant. redundant.....
What does it mean when the government is issuing a study of a study of studies?
Checks and Balances Jack.
Either it means they are trying to impress me or they don't know what they are doing. I think it's the latter. But it looks good on paper.
It means that we should study the people we are electing who authorize funding for these perpetual studies. The bridge to nowhere was only the tip of the iceberg for Federal studies of nowhere and to nowhere. What a waste of tax payer monies and I bet that they are funded through Earmarks........
I work for one of the worlds largest consumer product manufacturing companies and we have had numerous meetings to form committees to meet and report back to the original committee, all of the reasons why we have so many meetings. It sounds like the goverment works just like large publicly traded corporations.
It means that the government doesn't have enough to do and now they must make up work for their employees. This is the only way it can justify spending so much money.
It means either one of three things: Our government either A) wishes to distract us from the important things like our costs of living and struggling economy, B) is blindly unaware of these issues and thinks it's okay to goof around with nonsense like this, or C) simply doesn't care about these issues and how they're affecting the people who elected them into office in the first place. Whichever is the case, they need to quit wasting time on this kind of flippant idiocy and get back to work getting this country back on track.
it means things will NEVER change in Washington. when the House or Senate want to pigeonhole something that might give them a political problem, they have a "commission to study it" so they don't have to make any "tough" decisions. then they ignore most of the recommendations IF they are "too hot to handle"
classic is the recent Simpson-Bowles commission. the House rejects it because every Congressman has a constituent who's "ox will get gored" by some cut in spending, elimination of a subsidy or tax increase. NO WONDER this so called "Government" can't get anything DONE.
It means that the Government is throwing yet another pile of taxpayer money down the toilet. There's no excuse for this type of insanity.
I'll have to form a committee to study this and get back to you.
Carol in Northampton, Ma
Jack, it means you have to be a very Studious Student to master
tongue twisters like Study of a Study of Studies. Of course they
have to do something to keep increasing the deficit, why not a
Study of a Study of Studies.
Despite a whole lot of studying, it looks like nothing actually gets learned. But we probably need to do a study before we can be sure of that.
What does it mean when the government is issuing a study of a study of studies ?? What do you mean, "what does it mean" ? How about Bill Clinton's "it all depends on what you mean by the word "is" is . Fast Forward to 2012 – How about John Edwards's defense relying on the definition of the word "the" ?
Somebody's making a bundle on all these studies, even if it's just the paper supplier. With a do nothing congress and political system, studying is all they can agree on and accomplish. Doing would be much more useful, but studying doesn't get you in trouble with 'your base', whoever they are at the moment.
Many of the the required studies are congressionally mandated, especially at DoD. The are one of the ways the Congress provides oversight on the military or mandates that defense projects happen at local universities or to serve the interests of local defense contractors. Getting a handle on this mess is a good idea, although I do not expect that this review will do anything to restrain anyone on the Hill.
It says they're stuttering, stalling and suspending any sinking sanguineness of saving what's still left of this congressional session's sad squandering of seriously sought-after substantive solutions.
First it means that YOU should be a little more accurate with your questions. Today's question SHOULD read "What does it mean when the PENTAGON is issuing a study of a study of studies?". As bad as our gov't is at such things, the military, i.e., the Pentagon, is the poster child for overspending and underaccountability. The Pentagon is a force unto itself, answers almost to no one, and endlessly delays questions it doesn't care to answer. There are even offcers whose sole responsibility is DOD (Delay, Obfuscate and Deny).
HUH? You got that right, Jack! Don't these goons have a defined budget? I don't get it. Don't they have to justify an expense to anyone? Is there no accountability for any governmental agency? The anwser is probably not as evidenced by our national debt, by continuing to promise aid to whomever Hilary Clinton decides to give aid to and add even more to our long-term commitments to other countries, like 10+ years to Afghanistan recently. Where do these people have this kind of authority, authority that goes beyond their elected terms in office. How can this country survive the insanity of spending that continues day after day, month after month, year after year. Do these people have a clue of what a budget even means? I don't think they do.
That means the average taxpayer needs to bend over an assumed the position. It also means the Republicans will not touch the military budget like they were supposed to do when the super committee could not come to an agreement. But instead they attack programs like Meals on Wheels who are the only hope for housebound senior citizens to get a meal to eat.
What does it mean? I don't know. Maybe we should conduct a study.
Jack: In order to answer your question, I would have to initiate "another study." The Government is the only place in which studies after studies only result in more studies. It is the Jack Russell Terrier chasing his tail with the hopes of catching--and we the taxpayers get to pay the bill!
... it's a source of deficit reduction ... (I'm an accountant, and actually understand that 'BS)
It reminds me of a dog chasing it's tail, only in this case it's not funny. In this case it's either indicative that someone's trying to hide something; that, or the people in charge don't know what they're doing. Either way, money is being spent in a pointless exercise. They should set a time limit for gathering information. And stick to it. Maybe once every six months. Anyone not properly gathering information in a time sensitive manner should be let go.
It means that if you are counting on Washington to fix all the problems you think you face, maybe you should convene a committee to study your decision process.
It means – Just keep printing money and when the printing is completed, the study is over. I guess well never know the answer!
What we have here is a failure to communicate.
Nearly all "studies" about any subject is a waste of time and money. Seldom if ever are they used positively or even close to being accurate, reliable and rarely relevant. Studies of the same subject could be run by 10 different study groups and they would all have different results. That said, a study of studies shows our paranoia and insanity. We are absent of any common sense, relevance and meaningful priorities. How taxpayer's money is spent is of no concern to Congress and studies are just another way to waste money for their political benefit. Same with private enterprises but for profit or to sway the lambs their way. We are out of control or controlled to the max.
It is ridiculous. makes no sense. you could call it "creating jobs" and factoriing that into the phony figures the govt puts out along with all the other bizarre things going on..
This question deserves more study to answer
I've forgotten what the question was. Oh yeah, the Federal government at its finest-procrastination. Never has so many done so much with so little results. Sounds like a normal working day in Washington. Maybe we just need to add more people. What a country.
It means some red tape got stuck to the red tape and they need to figure out how to unstuck it.
It means busness as usual.
It means, in my lifetime, nothing has changed and it's business as usual. Next study, please.
It means, "As long as we are being paid by taxpayer dollars to look into it, why stop?"
Hi Jack –
It sounds like the government has to many redundancies. I really wonder if there is a return on our tax dollar investment into this foray.
It means that in this administration a lot people don't know what they're doing. A study of all the studies will reveal that there's a lot of incompetency in government and that a study is a cop out. Basically what that means nobody knows the answer to the problem and a study is a good way to safe face. Corporations do a little of that when things are not going the right way.
The result of a study in a corporation usually leads to a shakeup in management. It sounds like what we need is a shakeup in top managent which should include a new President in November. .
What does it mean? In a word – nothing.
I am so freakn proud of our government, now lets do a study on why I said that
It means that Einstein was right. Insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting different results each time.
It means to me the government has gone down hill since Richard Nixon. And President Obama can't turn around a mess hidden since 1969, in three short years. I believe the Congress has been busy creating Socialism for the "Rich Elite" by taxing to death the middle and lower class from the cradle to the grave (lowering the tax on the rich) So they start a study and move it from one place to another so it is forgotten and soon another study develops with the same old plan (move it around till it disappears). What else lurks in government besides insider trading, bribes, and scandals that take up the time and money meant to keep "America the Beautiful". It means it will do nothing but pile more blame on President Obama and then die after the election. And the Republican party will try their best to see Obama is blamed. Not enough people went to prison after Water Gate and many of the Republican youngsters are now busy working their socialism scams for the rich. While killing jobs for Americans and giving jobs to China, Mexico and around the world for more profit in their pocket.
A committe is a group of men, with preordained conclusions wasting time, and getting paid for it, If you wish to stymie progress, appoint a committee. Their conclusions, no matter issue, won't put one loaf of bread on a poor man's table.
bobll ocala, florida
Government job security????? Like I've said before – if the people working in Washington had to work in the private sector – a great number of them wouldn't last.
It means most of us are idiots for not figuring out how to get in on a piece of that action. Heck, there's millions to be made, surely.
It means that a friend of an Elected Official is getting paid "big bucks" to conduct the study or commission, and the friend of the Elected Official will return the "big bucks" to the Elected Official through campaign contributions, or some other form of kickback. Plenty of millionaires in Congress!
And there will be a congressional committee apointed to enquire into the lack of progress of the studies. Around and around we go. This is beurocracy at finest. Government grows bigger and slower and the politicians and civil servants grow rich on the money we borrow from China.
im not sure. let me study that.
Good question, let me study on it.
You have got to be kidding me! Now I've heard everything. And we wonder why the govt. is broke?! What's next? A commission to look into the study and debate it's findings? Here's an idea. Why doesn't someone do a study on how many people in our govt, all branches, actually work for a living? Emphasis on the word 'work'. Get rid of all the govt waste and our economic problems could be solved.
Jack, it means that the bureaucracy is currently expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy...
I have called my friend who is a principle of a high school about this question. He has told me that he will have his social studies teachers study a way to make this into a study program for students to study during their study hall class. When this is done, I will study their results and give my study results to you , so that you can better inform your viewers who are studying this. But until then, I can't answer your question.
Gee, Jack: at least a rose is a rose is a rose...IS A ROSE. It's all about being case sensitive!
Nothing new here, Jack. The government solution to any problem is usually twice as bad as the problem and it results in study after study that never solves anything. The people in Washington who write this garbage are the same one's who come up with statements such as, "there's a light at the end of the tunnel" Vietnam and "we're making terrific progress in Afghanistan". This is proof that no matter what political party has the power in D.C., nothing will ever change.
It means they're offering us taxpayers a consulation prize (game of "political hot potato") as their way of saying, "Thanks for playing (or paying for) our game!"
Maybe Rep Issa from California can hold a congressional hearing on this problem.. add to the 10 others he is already holdng.
i never thought i would ever hear this but what is the iq of congress and senate and the president 1 apparent that this puts the icign on the cake that govt does not care with our tax dollars to spend it wisely
For every dollar Congress has allocated to GAO, GAO has found 87 dollars in savings. These studies are one of the best uses of tax dollars. GAO holds the rest of the government accountable in a system admittedly comfortable with ignoring accountability. Laws and policies are not changed because of our emotions or because officials "think" new methods are good ideas. Our government demands facts and hard statistics that GAO provides legislators in order to make progress.
Why should DoD be any different from any other segment of society? Pick any topic, swing a cat, and you'll hit a study. They seem to all fit into one of two categories: 1) sponsored by some group with a vested interest in the outcome (so guess how the outcomes always turn out), or 2) sponsored by a group that is only interested in studies focusing on totally irrelevant topics, producing intuitively obvious results, and concluding unfailingly that "more study is needed".
We in the Northern Virginia area even have a local new radio station that fills much of a day's airspace with "Special ________ Report" (fill in the blank) ... sponsored by a vendor with a vested interest in the report topic. If the 4th Estate can no longer be trusted to be unbiased, why would we expect more from anyone else.
Its not just the pentagon..... these studies are at all levels of government, and these private consulting firms are making a killing.....once again, in many case the same people railing against a wasteful government, are those who are slurping at the trough....
It means that the US government has finally reached the penultimate level of total absurdity in paper pushing. The next step with this is over the cliff; we are toast.
Does any good news come from washington...?well, maybe studies of studies study.What a wise was to spent tax payer's money.Washington,washington ooh washington...long live washington.still waiting for Obama and that change.studies of studies study...Maybe it is about time we get rid of those who conduct those studies...smh..where are we heading america..?
It means that the inmates are running the asylum. The bureaucracy would rather burn your tax dollars to make work for itself than do anything constructive for the country. We've had the most reform-minded president since Teddy Roosevelt, and the most reform-minded congress since the second World War, and they've both failed miserably to reign in our runaway federal leviathan. Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee is right, cut spending 43% to balance the budget this year, and let the chips fall where they may. Most of us would never notice the difference.
Now you have become aware of one reason why people hate to pay taxes. It's treated like it just grows on trees. Anyone who has had a government job, especially in the military, knows it very well. Roger Harris lives in Roanoke, Virginia.
It means that taxpayers will be paying for the coffee, donuts and bathroom priveledges while the study is in session.
let's see what this means........gosh i'm not sure, I may have to study this a while...................
How in the world do you expect any of us to answer this question without more study?
Jack, it means, Government is corrupt, out of control, a study of any type is just a way to get things off "the front page" then go back to doing what they want, get rich, get more power, and we the taxpayer are most at fault, we let it continue.
Jack, its just another form of filibustering. Similar to how the government ignores the countless independent studies about the war on drugs and why its a flawed concept and impossible to win. Instead, President Obama would like a government agency to conduct yet another study. (And of course, the results are just going to be copied and pasted from the previous FDA report)
Jeff, its means a waste of my tax dollars and more cutbacks on defend budget.
Besides being a gigantic slap in the face of the struggling taxpayers, it means unemployed Americans need to figure out how to write a grant proposal.
Another defense department study? It means the DOD has been blowing money out the window for way to long. The DOD has their bureaucratic nimnods in everything these days and every one of them are buttering their own toast. This is what happens when you give a cbinet member everything it wanst without question. Cut thier budget!
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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