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Talk about toxic waste: How about hundreds of millions of dollars a year fed into a cesspool of attorneys and bureaucrats rather than into the environmental cleanup work for which the money was intended? That's the federal government's "Superfund" program.

Critics of Superfund, noting that it has been in existence for nearly a generation but has managed to clean up fewer than 200 sites where toxic waste was discovered, say it's time to tear the program apart and start all over. According to estimates by the General Accounting Office, less than half of the $1.5 billion a year spent by Superfund actually goes to clean up toxic-waste sites. Most of the money goes for "support" functions such as lawyers and other administrative functions. Meanwhile, more than 1,200 waste sites throughout the country remain to be cleaned up. . . .

Superfund can't even do a quick, inexpensive, effective cleanup job on a toxic-waste site, much less on itself. Congress should step in and chuck Superfund into a garbage can, then draft a new law that may give Americans some reason to have confidence that their government isn't wasting their money.

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