The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

The WasteWatcher

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact

President Trump is Right to Stop the Gateway Boondoggle

As Congress stares down yet another funding deadline on March 23, 2018, discussion over the $900 million earmark has resurfaced.

Any Willing Pharmacy – Not as Good as it Sounds

On November 28, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule that would revise Medicare Part D, the prescription drug program.  The proposal dredges up the “any willing pharmacy” issue that would require any Part D plan sponsor, such as an insurer or a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), to allow any pharmacy to participate in their network.  While this policy has a benign name, if it is adopted, it will drive up costs for all Medicare beneficiaries, not lower them.

Hawaii Bill Would Use Tax Dollars to Pay Unions

From every paycheck Mark Janus receives, an amount is deducted and sent to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), one of the most powerful unions in America.  Mark is an employee of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and to keep his job over the years, he’s had to pay thousands of dollars to AFSCME.  But as Mark says, “the union’s fight is not [his] fight.”  Mark doesn’t want his money to be used to support politi

Getting Ready for 5G

There are several technologies being considered for developing the next generation of communications infrastructure.  Among those being studied and deployed are the use of TV white spaces for rural broadband connectivity; wireless fixed broadband initiatives; satellite broadband, and the development of fifth generation (5G) technologies for mobile communications.

The VA Scandal Refuses to End

America’s armed forces represent the best of our country.  These men and women put their lives on the line to protect us.  That is why they deserve the highest quality medical care when they return home.  However, countless investigations and internal reports over the past decade have exposed a systemic cancer of mismanagement, neglect, and failure at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The BBA, Medicare Part D, and a Cautionary Tale

When President Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 on February 9, 2018, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) objected because of its prolific and irresponsible spending, calling the $300 billion (14 percent) increase over current levels “outrageous and unnecessary, as well as a complete abdication of fiscal discipline and accountability.”

Failing DC Metrorail Opens Absurd Swag Shop

The Metrorail system in the nation’s capital has been in crisis for almost a decade.  It has been labeled, “the worst in the world,” and its financial situation has been characterized as a “death spiral.”    But the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has now unveiled a new plan to fix all of that: A swag store.

New FDA Report on BPA: It is Still Safe

On February 23, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement by Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Stephen Ostroff, M.D., regarding a draft report issued by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) on the compound bisphenol A, more commonly referred to as BPA.

As Other States Thrive, California is a Shadow of Its Former Self

So many iconic images and phrases come to mind when you think of California.  The Gold Rush.  The American Dream.  Hollywood.  The place where anything was possible and big dreams can come true—thanks to the smashing success of capitalism.  “Go West, Young Man.”  It was the pinnacle of American culture, industry, and innovation, and, at one time, a bastion of conservative thought, voting Republican in nine of the ten presidential elections between 1952 and 1988 and producing two famous twice-elected Republican presidents of the twentieth century, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. 

An Open Internet Excludes Net Neutrality

There is a huge misunderstanding regarding net neutrality.  Silicon Valley dot-coms and big e-commerce corporations are pushing the idea that the Restoring Internet Freedom Order approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on December 14, 2017 somehow rolled back protections for consumers, and will lead to the end of the internet as we know it.  But, it did nothing of the sort.  It simply rolled back the heavy hand of government over the internet, and restored consumer protection to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which was stripped out by the 2015 Open Internet Order.


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