On Wednesday, August 6, USA Today reported that the federal website USASpending.gov which is tasked with tracking government money, can’t find $619 billion from different agency budgets.
Despite the government losing track of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, CBS This Morning was the only network morning show to cover the report on Wednesday morning. ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today ignored the story altogether. [See video below.]
CBS This Morning co-anchor Charlie Rose detailed how “agencies’ spending records doesn't match their budgets. Here are some examples. The Health and Human Services Department failed to report $544 billion. Veterans Affairs had a $64 billion shortfall. And the Interior budget gap came in at $5 billion.”
From USA Today:
A government website intended to make federal spending more transparent was missing at least $619 billion from 302 federal programs, a government audit has found.
And the data that does exist is wildly inaccurate, according to the Government Accountability Office, which looked at 2012 spending data. Only 2% to 7% of spending data on USASpending.gov is "fully consistent with agencies' records," according to the report.
For more than 22% of federal awards, the spending website literally doesn't know where the money went. The "place of performance" of federal contracts was most likely to be wrong.
Instead of covering the missing $619 billion in taxpayer money, Good Morning America showed video of a farmer in Kansas serenading his cows by playing the song “Royals” on his trombone. NBC’s Today spent nearly three minutes discussing the supposed controversy surrounding a new Kim Kardashian mobile app.
See relevant transcript below.
CBS This Morning
August 6, 2014
CHARLIE ROSE: “USA Today” says a federal website aimed at tracking government money can't find $619 billion. USASpending.gov looked at data from 2012. It says agencies’ spending records doesn't match their budgets. Here are some examples. The Health and Human Services Department failed to report $544 billion. Veterans Affairs had a $64 billion shortfall. And the Interior budget gap came in at $5 billion.
NORAH O’DONNELL: That’s a lot of money to just go missing.
ROSE: It is. That’s not a–
O’DONNELL: Rounding error. It’s not a rounding error as they say.
GAYLE KING: Not chump change at all.