As someone that has little use for government, I find myself in the awkward position of actually defending it when I hear the utter nonsense put forth by people suggesting that the private sector can do a better job.

There is no doubt that any large organization is going to do things wrong and generate a significant amount of inefficiency.  However, this is true of corporations just as it is with government.  Corporations do not hold a privileged position in somehow having solutions to these problems, because they often perform worse than government,but without the public visibility.

In addition, most corporations simply don't have as many people to serve as the government, so simple scaling is sometimes enough to create large differences.  

Often government waste is "spun" in various ways for political impact, while private corporations rarely come under such scrutiny, unless their behavior is literally "off the charts".  

The Heritage Foundation has a website listing 50 examples of government waste, but more importantly it is interesting how some of this information is presented.

Consider this statement from the site:
"Congress has allowed government employees to spend tax dollars on iPods, jewelry, gambling, exotic dance clubs, and $13,500 steak dinners."
No doubt you're trying to imagine how someone could spend over $13,000 on steak dinners.  Of course, they fail to inform you that this was a conference with 81 attendees, that was intended as a marketing effort to get new customers.  Suddenly the expenditure doesn't seem quite as ridiculous, especially when it is viewed against comparable efforts put on by corporations to advance their marketing agendas1.  

Let's also put this into context, because I'm sure many will see this as my being an apologist for the post office.  My point isn't whether the expense was legitimate or not, but rather that it was presented as almost criminal, which it clearly was not.  

Also consider that most corporations consider Travel and Entertainment expenses as the second highest cash outlay, after payroll, that they have.  Since these expenses can be up to 10% of total expenditures, it bears considering what happened to part of our $700 billion dollar bailout (after the bonuses paid to keep all that "talent").

More importantly when reviewing the examples of government waste, let's keep one other thing firmly in mind.  A significant portion of the waste is caused by "law-abiding, taxpayers" who think nothing of defrauding the government and stealing tax dollars.  Whether this be from health-care fraud or corporations that bill for services never performed. 

We can all concur that the government needs to be more watchful, but the sad reality is that most of the real thievery occurs because of fellow citizens stealing from us, the taxpayers.  When reviewing the list, just consider how many of these problems occurred because of U.S. citizens and not government irresponsibiltiy (unless, of course you expect the government to be like a parent and scold them for bad behavior).
"The Pentagon recently spent $998,798 shipping two 19-cent washers from South Carolina to Texas and $293,451 sending an 89-cent washer from South Carolina to Florida."
Of course, they fail to mention that this was a case of fraud which was prosecuted, resulting in a fine of "$750,000. She faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years on each count and will be sentenced soon."

Somehow the story doesn't seem as outrageous when you realize that these people were criminally prosecuted and tried for their theft. Once again, though it is interesting to note how the allegation of government waste was presented to maximize the effect of the innuendo.

As I said, I'm not a big fan of government and certainly don't see myself as it's defender.  I don't think government is capable of solving every problem, nor do I think that every problem is even solvable. However, it's time to grow up and face the reality that government is NOT business.  Government has a responsibility to take actions even when they aren't profitable.  Government has a responsibility for citizens even when it isn't cost effective.  Unlike corporations, government can't simply argue that its citizenry is too expensive to support and they should move if they don't like it.

So let's stop pretending that the private sector does everything better.  It can barely take care of itself2.

1 Check the menu at Ruth's Chris Steak House
2 Don't overlook the reference to the $92 billion spent on corporate welfare.