The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Waste

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

Heard It Through the Grape Vine

What would you think of a government that believes too many raisins are being grown and harvested in a particular year so it decides to confiscate a portion of the crop?  Even worse, more often than not, the government will not pay the farmer for the portion of the crop it has taken.  Sounds almost Soviet-esque doesn’t it?  But it happens here in the United States and has been in existence for 64 years.  It was created during the Truman Administration and is called the National Raisin Reserve.  The sole “raisin d’être” is to control how many raisins reach the market-place. 

Bottom Feeders Take a Bite Out of the Farm Bill

On June 10, 2013 the Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill, which included provisions to operate catfish inspections by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

"Campaign to Cut Waste" Falls Short

On June 13, 2011, President Obama issued Executive Order No.

Reform on Sugar Policy Isn’t Getting Sweeter

The Senate overwhelmingly approved its version of the Farm Bill on June 10, 2012 with a vote of 66-27.  There is plenty to say about what is in the $955 billion legislation—with more than $760 billion for going to food stamps and  nutrition programs, and billions more going to various other programs, it seems that a discussion about what is present in the bill could last for days.

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.

Senators Seek Elimination of Wasteful and Overlapping Benefit Payments

On June 6, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal released a poll that showed Americans blame welfare programs more than any other reason for persistent poverty in the United States.   The poll was conducted between May 30 and June 2 and sampled 1,000 adults.

Forever Red in Illinois

As the Illinois legislature winds up the 2013 session by creating a new $750,000 “Forever Green Illinois Program” (it's really there on pp. 8-9 of the 284-page budget bill) that would fund the “maintenance and beautification of greenery,” including grass, weeds, trees, shrubs, bushes, and plants on state or local government property, elected officials should also consider adopting a new official state song:  "Forever Red; I Want to Be, Forever Red."

We Agree with David Axelrod

Every once in a while a politician or political operative says something with which everyone can agree.  So today, for the first time, all of us at CAGW agree with David Axelrod to the extent that he acknowledged that the government is too big.  Obviously we don't agree that the size of the government excuses President Obama from knowing about the IRS scandal and other examples of waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement.

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.

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