The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Transparency

California Cases Challenge Threats to Donor Privacy

Although most average Americans are not thrilled when they sign their tax returns every April, most of them do not have to worry that their returns will be on public display.  The federal penalties for releasing tax returns without authorization are severe, as they should be.  In 2013, Lois Lerner and her underlings at the IRS singled out conservative groups for discriminatory treatment and harassment, but not even they are known to have engaged in the leaking of the groups’ respective tax filings.  (These general observations do

EPA to Implement Transparency Requirements for Scientific Studies: It's About Time

The rule will “ensure that the regulatory science underlying agency actions is fully transparent, and that underlying scientific information is publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent validation.”

Transparency Needed at the FCC

There is a problem with transparency at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) relating to the sharing of information with the public on critical regulatory matters under consideration.

IRS Undermines Congressional Budgeting

In a July 2016 report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could improve its budget data in its justifications to Congress.  The report found that the IRS, while it has taken steps to more effectively manage its budget, has not correlated its priorities to relevant appropriations accounts.  In its fiscal year 2017 justification, the IRS linked requests to priorities for increased funding, but failed to provide data on how much had been previously spent on each priority; as a result, t

The TPA Debate: Fears & Facts about “Fast-Track”

When Chicken Little said “The sky is falling!” and convinced his barnyard brethren of the same, the facts notwithstanding, he practically invented fear-mongering. Trade liberalization opponents are engaged in their own version of spreading false and misleading information by claiming that so-called “fast track” legislation is fraught with end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it perils. Just as the falling acorn was a whopping example of misdirection, so too is much of the current opposition.

IRS Hiring of Outside Litigator Appears to Violate Law and Infringe Privacy

In what appears to be an unprecedented and illegal action, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has apparently for the first time hired a law firm to assist in the income tax audit and investigation of a taxpayer.

By Your Leave: Federal Employees on Administrative Leave Cost Taxpayers Billions

ICYMI, this American Public Media interview with the Washington Post reporter Lisa Rein is a quick primer on a very big problem.

Satellite TV Bill Moves Forward in the Senate

On September 17, 2014, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved S. 2799, the Satellite Television and View Rights Act (STAVRA), which would extend for five years the Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act. The current authorization expires on December 31, 2014. While one would think this would only be of interest to users of satellite TV, provisions in the bill extend beyond the scope of just reauthorizing satellite access to television signals.

Past Porker Cordray Crimps Car Dealers

So, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is at it again!

Declaration of Dependence

A February 4, 2013 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report confirmed what taxpayer watchdog groups such as Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) have been warning about for years: Obamacare is an unprecedented disaster for every American’s personal health and the country’s economic health. 

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