CAGW Releases May 2016 WasteWatcher

For Immediate Release Contact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318
May 12, 2016  

(Washington, D.C.) – Today Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released its May WasteWatcher, a monthly dispatch to members of the news media, highlighting some of the most prominent fiscal issues affecting American taxpayers.  The stories from its May edition of WasteWatcher are listed in part as follows:

State Tobacco Settlement Funds Go Up In Smoke

By Andrew P. Nehring

In 1998, 46 states and five U.S. territories signed onto the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) in order to recover taxpayer dollars lost to the treatment of tobacco-related health issues.  However, the settlement agreement did not stipulate where, the funds should go.  This subtle ‘loophole’ in the MSA created an unintentional windfall to use tens of billions of dollars to fund projects that have no relation to tobacco prevention and cessation.  Read the full story here.

Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations: Poor Track Record, Poor Outlook

By Sean Kennedy

In January 2016, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared their intention to punctually approve the 12 appropriations bills that fund the federal government.  Perhaps this declaration was designed to mark the ten-year anniversary of the last time this feat was accomplished, in fiscal year (FY) 2006.  Read the full story here.

GAO Duplication Report Pinpoints the Waste in Washington

By Curtis Kalin

Members of Congress often use the growing national debt as a prelude to promise to cut “waste, fraud, and abuse,” especially as they campaign for their jobs.  But, once they return or first come to Washington, they seem to have a hard time eliminating the waste, even though it is fairly easy to locate.  Read the full story here.

GSEs: As Sleazy as 1-2-3

By William M. Christian

There were a lot of sleazy characters in the The Big Short, a 2015 motion picture based on real-life investors who predicted the disastrous housing market collapse of 2007, and plenty of blame to go around.  But two of the guilty parties were hardly mentioned in the Hollywood production: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Read the full story here.

United States Postal Service Fails Despite Advantages

By Rachel Cole

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is one of the largest employers in the United States, with 625,113 employees.  But the agency’s financial results are not quite as impressive.  The USPS lost $5.1 billion in 2015 and the cost of labor has increased while the size of the workforce has shrunk.  Read the full story here.

A New Cause du Jour: Beating Up “Big Pharma”

By Elizabeth Wright

Beating up pharmaceutical companies is the new “cause du jour.”  Even though pharmaceuticals are only 10 percent of all healthcare costs, they tend to make easy targets because it is difficult to understand why such a small pill should cost so much money.  Read the full story here.

Spectrum Auction Moves Forward

By Deborah Collier

A November 10, 2015 report from Gartner noted that the Internet of Things (IoT) will reach 6.4 billion devices in 2016.  By 2020, that number will potentially reach 20.8 billion devices, all of which will need access to spectrum in order to function.  Read the full story here.

CAGW is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

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