The Swine Line: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

The Swine Line

The Swine Line is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


Congress Passes Continuing Resolution

On September 28, 2016, the U.S. Senate and, a few hours later, the House of Representatives passed a resolution that would continue the funding of the government through December 9, 2016 – narrowly missing the last day of this fiscal year, which ends on the September 30th.  Since Congress failed to pass the 12 individual appropriations bills (or a budget) before the beginning of the new fiscal year, the continuing resolution (C.R.) was necessary to prevent another government shutdown.

Set-Top Box Proposal Takes Center Stage

Technology innovations are great, and the advancement of the electronics industry over the past 20 years has been astounding.  However, when the federal government steps in to mandate technology, typically progress comes to a halt.  Such is the case with the set-top box.  The cable industry has been in the process of moving away from using these dusty dinosaurs of video viewing by developing apps that consumers will be able to load on any device to view their programming.  Sounds great, right?

It’s Getting Rockier for Obamacare in Tennessee

Citizens Against Government Waste’s August WasteWatcher discussed how many states were seeing large health insurance rate increases in the Affordable Care Act’s (Obamacare) exchanges.  In the state of Tennessee, Cigna and Humana revised their original premium rate increase request from an average of 23 percent to 46 percent and an average of 29 percent to 44.3 percent respectively.  The Tennessean

Farewell CO-OP Number 17

In an August 3, 2016 NJBiz article, the headline blared “N.J. rules helped guide Health Republic to success as Obamacare co-op!" The article goes on to praise the fact that Health Republic was “one of the seven health insurance co-ops still standing” and that its stability had a lot to do with the fact that “New Jersey’s 1992 health care reform laws were similar to the current Affordable Care Act, and allowed both insurers and actuaries to draw from prior experience to create health plans and pricing.”  The article contends that New Jersey's CO-OP is a great success story.

Government Should Not Restrict Free-Data Plans

One only needs to look at the mobile phone bill of a connected teenager’s parent to know that mobile data use is on the rise.  Often driven by homework and school expectations, teenagers consume large amounts of mobile data performing classroom internet searches, video messaging their fellow students working on team assignments, as well as watching video streams and podcasts.  These activities are in addition to the music streaming and game playing one normally associates with teenage internet use.  For households with limited income, paying for data overages can often strain the family bud

SIGAR: U.S. Facilitated Afghan Corruption, Reacted Slowly

The first in a series of “lessons learned” reports released in September 2016 by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko has indicated that the U.S. introduced billions of dollars of aid into a corrupt system, sometimes benefiting militia members and warlords.  

Inspector General: “Image is Everything” and USPS Facilities are Lacking

On August 29, 2016, the Office of the Inspector General (IG) for the United States Postal Service (USPS) released an audit report on USPS facilities in the Capital Metro Area.  The Capital Metro Area, which includes Atlanta, Baltimore, Greensboro, Richmond, and surrounding areas, is home to 2,600 postal facilities (USPS leases and owns more than 30,000 nationwide).  Of the 20 buildings audited, the IG found that many had roof and lighting problems, security issues, and possible Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) v

Donald Trump Commits to Several CAGW-Endorsed Reforms to Eliminate Government Waste

At a speech to the Union League in Philadelphia today, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump committed to several government-wide reforms that could save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars:

“I will ask that savings be accomplished through common sense reforms that eliminate government waste and budget gimmicks – and that protect hard-earned benefits for Americans.

The God of Communications is Alive and Well at the FCC

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler is doing his best to emulate Mercury, the God of Communications, whose portfolio also covered commerce and transportation.  (He was also known as a trickster and guided people into the Underworld.)

The chairman has imposed ancient communications laws on the Internet, usurped the Federal Trade Commission’s role on privacy enforcement, and now wants to undermine intellectual property rights by holding and issuing copyrights to creators and owners of licensed broadcast material. 

Maryland’s Proposed Purple Line Update

On August 3, 2016, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Purple Line, a proposed light-rail project in Maryland, was ineligible for federal funding until the state recalculates the Purple Line’s ridership forecasts.

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