The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Congress

Put a Fork In it! Earmarks are Dead ... Almost.

In a November 4, 2013 blog published in The Hill titled “Congress should return to responsible earmark policy,” former Rep. George Nethercutt (R-Wa.) claimed that failure to do so would create “purist legislators who largely disdain compromise, resist seniority, and refuse Congressional earmarks.” 

And Here’s To You, Mrs. Lautenberg!

The recent action by Congress to provide a death gratuity to the widow of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has raised a few eyebrows.  Specifically, the continuing resolution (CR) passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in the late evening hours of Wednesday, October 16, included $174,000 – the equivalent of one year’s salary for members of Congress – for Mrs. Bonnie Lautenberg.

“As the Government Shuts Down to Save Money, Veterans Pay the Ultimate Price”

William Gladstone, Prime Minister of Great Britain in the 19th Century, once said:

Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead, and I will measure exactly the sympathies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to high ideals.

A Clean CR is a Dirty Rotten Shame

On the October 2nd edition of Fox News Channel’s Special Report, columnist Charles Krauthammer decried the Democrats’ disingenuous insistence on a “clean CR,” implying that such an approach is actually a ratification of failure.  On the one hand, it would underscore the fact that both chambers of Congress had failed in one of their most basic responsibilities:  to fund, one bill at a time and by the end of each fiscal year, the various functions of government.  On the other, and thus betraying the Democrats’ true motivations, it would signal that the Republicans had failed to secure a singl

Debate and Compromise Is Not a One-Way Street

A few months back my 20-something niece was complaining about how Congress, in particular the Republican House, was just not cooperating with President Obama over spending, taxes, and government-investments like bridges and green energy.  She said the current system was broken and that we needed something new so things could be done quickly.  I said, “So – what do you want – a king?”  Silence was the answer.

Death, Taxes, and Postal Rate Hikes

It seems that, in addition to death and taxes, one more thing is certain:  the price rise of postage stamps.  My earliest recollection of the price of a stamp?  It was in 1972:  an 8-cent stamp, providing my first appreciation for Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose visage was pasted to the upper right-hand corner of any mail I received or sent.

Nancy’s Cupboard May be Bare but There are Certainly Bats in Her Belfry

On Sunday, when asked about deficit reduction, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declared on CNN’s Sunday show State of the Union that “the cupboard is bare…there’s no more cuts to make.”

Legislation Puts Medicare Recovery Auditing, and Taxpayers, At Risk

Government waste, fraud, and abuse are a scourge on American taxpayers and a multi-billion dollar insult to the federal budget, but preventing improper payments, particularly in Medicare, is now running into roadblocks despite being a rare example of success.  Medicare providers, particularly hospitals, which have for years received billions in improper overpayments, now fully appreciate that new auditing and recovery techniques dramatically inhibit the flow of those overpayments.  More importantly, officials managing an actuarially and fiscally compromised Medicare program now have the abi

New Voice Opposes MEADS

As members of Congress reconvene following their long summer break, one of their most immediate tasks will be to pass legislation to fund the federal government beyond the current fiscal year, which ends at the end of the month.

Back to Black – II

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about Senator Coburn’s (R-OK) efforts in fighting a bloated federal government, rife with waste, fraud, and abuse.  You may recall his office has produced several reports on where spending could be cut in the federal government. In my blog, I pulled out some examples from one of his reports, “Back to Black.”  This report offers $9 trillion in savings that the federal government could undertake over the next decade.

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