The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Reform

Disability Insurance – Reform is Needed

A recent General Accountability Office (GAO) report, “Disability Insurance – Work Activity Indicates Certain Social Security Disability Payments Were Potentially Improper” reminds us that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is the nation’s largest cash assistance program.  In light of that, it is no surprise then that the congressional watchdog agency estimates that the Social Security Administration (SSA)  made $1.29 billion in potential cash benefit over-payments to 36,000 individuals in 2010.  This number represents 0.4 percent of all primary disability beneficiaries in fiscal ye

Navigating Healthcare Privacy

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $67 million in grants to more than 100 organizations to assist individuals needing help navigating the confusing process of signing up for Obamacare.

Seeing Double: Yes, Even More Duplication!

As part of a continuing series, CAGW is providing you with examples of duplication and overlap within the federal government that has been researched by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  In the 2011 GAO annual report, “Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue,” the agency offers 81 suggestions on where cost-saving ideas could be implemented.  Here is another example from the report.

CAGW's Prime Cuts Hones in On Programmatic Waste

Every year, Citizens Against Government Waste produces Prime Cuts, a comprehensive list of spending cuts that could be used by Congress to reduce spending and keep the budget under the Budget Control Act spending caps.  Here are just a few of the programs CAGW includes in its Prime Cuts report.

Eliminate the Rural Utilities Service

1-Year Savings: $9.6 billion

5-Year Savings: $48.1 billion

E-Rate Program Reform To Take Center Stage at FCC

On Friday, July 19, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be meeting to discuss, among other items, reforms to the Universal Service Fund (USF)’ E-Rate program, which was highlighted in the July edition of Wastewatcher.  It is expected that the outcome of this meeting will be a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to obtain comment on how the program can be re-organized to meet the goals of the President Obama’s recently

Farm Bill, Part 2: Divide (the Bill) and Conquer (the Conservatives?)

Rep. Frank D. Lucas (R-Okla.), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has proposed a strategy to move the chamber’s recently failed 2013 Farm Bill forward to passage by the House and on to conference with the Senate’s already passed version.  Stung by the unprecedented defeat of a recurring piece of legislation once considered “must pass” by previous Congresses, Chairman Lucas is apparently threatening the old adage of “be careful what you ask for, you may get it.”

Unchanging Laws in a Marketplace of Change

The Center for Disease Control released a June 2013 report showing the number of households using only wireless telephone services is on the rise.  This trend reinforces the need to update existing telecommunications law to reflect the current state of the marketplace.  No longer are Americans reliant on only one form of communication service, but are using innovative tools and devices that rely on wireless services, broadband Internet, and fiber optic lines to share and communicate with one another.

Internal Revenue (Dis)Service

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is under heavy scrutiny after a report by the Inspector General (IG) at the Treasury Department. Recent videos have surfaced showing IRS employees practicing the popular dance, “the cupid shuffle” and parodying Star Trek. Costing more than $50,000, these videos add visual representations of the service’s recent misuse of tax dollars.

The Farmers Love This Bill

“The farmers love this bill,

The farmers love this bill,

High, HIGH, the dairies go,

The farmers love this bill!”

While it’s a tortured version of the original, the verse scribbled above represents a more fitting rendition of the classic nursery rhyme these days, given ongoing congressional action.  Today, the Senate will markup its version (S. 10) of this year’s farm bill, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013.  The House of Representatives is expected to follow suit tomorrow.

Government Waste TV

There are more than enough egregious examples of mismanagement and inefficiency to create "Government Waste TV."

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