WasteWatcher

WasteWatcher is CAGW's monthly dispatch to members of the news media. Culled from dense General Accounting Office reports, obscure news items, and the occasional account of a whistleblower, WasteWatcher's stories captured headlines by transforming the dry matter of federal financial management into side-splitting -- albeit infuriating -- tales of government ineptitude.

The North Carolina Winston-Salem Journal said of WasteWatcher that it is "a monthly publication that probably deserves wider dissemination than it gets...even heavily discounted to allow for the ax CAGW is grinding, the news from its reports is high in shock value and humor (of the gallows variety)."

Taxpayers Fund Absurd Government Marketing

By Curtis Kalin

WasteWatcher, November 2016

According to Gallup, Americans’ trust in government rests near an all-time low.  Gallup’s 2015 survey found that, “Fewer than three-in-ten Americans have expressed trust in the federal government in every major national poll conducted since July 2007... more

Tobacco Harm-Reduction: Big League Healthcare Savings

By Andrew Nehring

WasteWatcher, November 2016

In the twenty-first century, remarkable technology innovations have improved nearly every aspect of everyone's lives. Smart TVs and smartphones are the most well-known examples; however, these innovations even extend to smoking.

By 2025, health experts approximate that... more

Procurement Blues: Competition Needed to Fix Defense Contracting

By Sean Kennedy

WasteWatcher, November 2016

Upon assuming the office of Secretary of Defense in February 2015, Ashton Carter prioritized recruiting private sector companies – especially those in technology industries – to bid on contracts awarded by the Department of Defense (DOD).

Beyond the desire to tap into private sector innovation, the secretary ostensibly was... more

Time to Cut the Billions in Improper Payments

By Rachel Cole

WasteWatcher, November 2016

When the average American sees an incorrect charge on his or her credit card statement, a quick to call the bank ensues to ensure that the money is promptly returned. Unfortunately, the federal government is not as efficient.  Since 2010, federal government improper payments have totaled nearly $600 billion, mostly (90 percent) in... more

The Turducken of Broadband

By Deborah Collier

WasteWatcher, November 2016

A turducken is the epitome of overbuild.  One takes a deboned chicken, covers it in stuffing, wraps it with a deboned duck, adds some more stuffing on top of the duck, and wraps it again with a deboned turkey.  That may be all well and good for a hearty Thanksgiving, but it is no feast when a city or town decides to spend taxpayer... more

CMMI is Neither Centered nor Innovative

By Elizabeth Wright

WasteWatcher, November 2016

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) sounds like it should be involved in ground-breaking, state-of-the-art healthcare projects and programs.  However, the center was created in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, which in and of itself raises red flags. 

CMMI is... more

Lame-Duck Session, 114th Congress: The Victors, the Vanquished, and the Un-Inaugurated

By William M. Christian

WasteWatcher, November 2016

For anyone unfamiliar with the patois of politics, the term “lame duck” may seem like a bit of an odd duck, rhetorically speaking.  As defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the more common understanding of this phrase is “an elected official or group... more

Show Me the Budget

By Sean Kennedy

WasteWatcher, October 2016

Americans might fondly remember many experiences from 1996, including watching “Independence Day” and “Jerry Maguire,” reading about the cloning of Dolly the sheep, dancing to the Macarena, and surfing new websites such as Ask Jeeves and eBay.

That year also witnessed a rare, if more important event:  Congress completing the... more

Washington’s 2016 Year-End Spending Spree

By Curtis Kalin

WasteWatcher, October 2016

As federal fiscal years wind down, a frustrating ritual takes place throughout departments and agencies:  a spending surge on frivolous items in order to avoid budget cuts in the next fiscal year.  The final month of fiscal year 2016 is no exception.

These spending sprees are the result of baseline budgeting, under which an agency... more

The Long Musical Road Home

By Deborah Collier

WasteWatcher, October 2016

As a preview to the 50th Anniversary of the Country Music Awards on November 2, 2016, the Country Music Association released a mashup video of... more

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CAGW Names VA Secretary Robert McDonald November Porker of the Month

VA Secretary Robert McDonald is CAGW's November Porker of the Month for giving bonuses to senior executives who were involved in the continuing hospital wait-times scandal.