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)."

America’s Longest War: On Poverty

By Rachel Cole

September 2016 Waste Watcher

In his 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson declared an “all-out war on human poverty and unemployment in these United States.”  President Johnson said, “Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.”

The War on Poverty, more costly than all wars since... more

A Penny, a Nickel, and a Dollar Walk Into a Bar…

By William M. Christian

September 2016 WasteWatcher

The dire fiscal circumstances facing the country are enough to drive Americans to drink.  But when it comes to the billions of dollars that could be saved for taxpayers, currency modernization represents a much-needed tonic, as well as a partial cure for the spending-like-drunken-sailors hangover that seriously threatens the... more

Taxes on Ashes: California’s Proposition 56

By Andrew Nehring

September 2016 WasteWatcher

As the legislative session comes to an end in California, the government’s addiction to regressive tax policies has not.  A well-organized campaign, composed of billionaires, medical groups, and trade associations, has collected enough signatures to include Proposition 56, a ballot measure in November, to raise California’s cigarette... more

Waste Proliferates Inside the EPA in 2016

By Curtis Kalin

September 2016 Wastewatcher

No department or agency in the federal government is immune from the bureaucratic toxin of waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.  Ironically, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is responsible for cleaning up all kinds of sewage, sludge, and foul matter, has consistently been one of the most wasteful agencies.  EPA... more

Return to Sender: The Postal Service Reform Act of 2016

By Rachel Cole

September 2016 WasteWatcher

Even to the most neutral observer, the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) financial condition is dire.  Notwithstanding it $18 billion annual advantage over other private sector companies (exemption from income; state local... more

A Pathway to Change at the IRS

By Deborah Collier

WasteWatcher, September 2016

Because of the delicate, private, and proprietary nature of information provided by individuals and businesses to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on tax returns, audits are an inherently governmental function that should be conducted solely by government employees.  This confidential process should not be handed over to outside... more

VA Scandal Rages On In 2016

By Curtis Kalin

WasteWatcher, August 2016

One of the most crippling scandals of the Obama administration is poised to outlast the president’s time in office.  The outrageous patient wait times at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics nationwide have not waned since the issue burst into the public consciousness in 2014.  Indeed, the scandal has widened and the depth of the... more

The FCC’s Lifeline Breakdown

By Deborah Collier

WasteWatcher, August 2016

Citizens Against Government Waste highlighting the programmatic issues of the Universal Service Fund (USF) and its Lifeline program for low-income individuals in its 2014 report Telecom Unplugged: Ushering in a New Digital Era.  The USF was created by Congress to... more

Remain Very Afraid of the Impact of Obamacare

By Elizabeth Wright

WasteWatcher, August 2016

Frightening news is starting to trickle out about health insurance premium rate increases for 2017, and that is just the beginning of ongoing concerns about how Obamacare adversely affects individuals, families, businesses, insurers, and the healthcare market.  The numbers reported to date by several states belie the promise... more

Social Impact Partnerships: No Social Solyndras

By William M. Christian

WasteWatcher, August 2016

Too often, Congress seems to blindly throw money at the problem du jour and then, without any measure of effectiveness, consider its work to be complete.  This tired (yet persistent) approach may help to explain why federal spending has metastasized unabated, while many social ills remain unsolved.

Fiscal conservatives can... more

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CAGW Names Gov. Charlie Baker September Porker of the Month

Gov. Charlie Baker is CAGW's September Porker of the Month for signing into law a destructive and foolish tax on citizens who use ride-sharing apps in order to bailout the stalled taxi industry.