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.


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.

OMB: House Spending Bills Over Statutory Spending Caps Bust the Statutory Caps

In a sequestration report released on August 19, 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) found that the fiscal year (FY) 2017 appropriations bills in the House are $792 million over the discretionary caps.  If signed into law, the spending bill would result in across-the-board spending cuts to enforce the statutory cap if a stopgap funding measure is not agreed to.

Postal Workers Protest Privatization of USPS, and Other Wishful Reforms

On August 23, 2016, postal workers held a rally on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the American Postal Workers Union’s convention in Orlando, Florida.  The union has come out against the TPP because they believe the agreement would ban postal banking and other non-postal activities while leading to the privatization of the postal service and other public services.

The Obamacare Sink Hole

On March 29, 2013, editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez drew a cartoon of the United States with a huge sinkhole in the middle of it and the words "Obamacare" spread across its center.  The drawing certainly was foretelling of what Americans could expect from the misnamed Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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