The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Regulation

TV Viewing for the Next Generation

Today’s TV viewing options are much different than when Congress passed the Cable Act of 1992.  This Act was passed in response to cable television rate increases following deregulation, a lack of competition in the cable marketplace and the concern of broadcasters that their local stations would not be carried by cable companies.  The law prohibited cable operators and other multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), which now include satellite and fiber optic networks, from rebroadcasting or “retransmitting” commercial television, low power television and radio broadcast signals

Happy 35th Anniversary, Airline Deregulation!

As a hard-nosed researcher of low fares (in other words, I am a cheap flier), I am appreciative of the fact that, thirty five years ago today, President Jimmy Carter signed the Air Transportation Regulatory Reform Act into law, on October 24, 1978.

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

A Big Nuthin Burger

Yesterday and today, the President pivoted for the 19th time to the economy and gave a one hour-plus speech on the economy.  On Wednesday, his first stop was Knox College in Illinois where he gave a commencement address in 2005.  Many news reports prior to the event predicted the President wouldn’t come up with any new policies.  They were right.  Here are some reactions from the papers:

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.

Next Steps for Net Neutrality

With the recent announcement by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski of his impending departure, the new commission chair will take charge of what has been called in The Atlantic Wire as “one of the more powerful regulatory bodies in the United States government.” 

It Isn’t 1996 Anymore

The year was 1996.  Bill Clinton was in the White House; scientists reported that there might be life on Mars; Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal, was born; the T.V. hospital show E.R. topped the Neilsen’s ratings long before the “McDreamies” and “McSteamies” of the world entered onto the scene; the Simpsons became the longest running prime-time animated series; people were dancing to the Macarena; and on February 8, 1996, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was enacted.

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