Government Waste TV | Citizens Against Government Waste

Government Waste TV

The WasteWatcher

There are more than enough egregious examples of mismanagement and inefficiency to create "Government Waste TV." Unfortunately, no such network exists.  The next best option would be a "Daily Waste" segment on a major network.  While such programming has also not yet been created on a permanent basis, between Monday, March 25 and Friday, March 29, Fox News Channel went where no network has gone before. On Monday, March 18, Fox News producer Anne Marie Riha spoke with CAGW's media and policy manager Luke Gelber and asked if CAGW would be interested in conducting a long interview for a five-part series on budget cuts that would be reported by Doug McKelway.  We of course said yes, and I spent the better part of two hours with Doug at the Fox studio on Capitol Hill talking at length about the five stories.  Doug was an anchor in Washington, D.C. for many years on the local ABC affiliate, Channel 7, and we had worked with him on several stories since he joined Fox in 2010.  But no one had ever suggested five consecutive days with anyone from CAGW in the past.  (For the record, Doug is a 1978 graduate of Skidmore College.  My mother is a 1942 graduate of Skidmore College.  Both were English majors, which in my case explains why I have always required the highest quality of research and writing from my colleagues at CAGW.) The five-part series has been airing nightly on "Special Report with Bret Baier," and the last report will be on this evening, Friday, March 29.  As a "preview" of the nightly reports, Fox News Channel's morning show "Fox and Friends" had me on Tuesday and Friday and had CAGW Vice President of Policy and Communications Leslie Paige on Wednesday to discuss the issues that would be on Special Report that same day.  In addition, Fox Business Network's "The Willis Report" had me on the program on Thursday, March 28, to talk about two of the issues that had been on Special Report - civil service rules related to firing federal workers and selling excess federal property. Before getting into the details of the shows and providing the links, I have to thank CAGW's research, policy, communications and government affairs team (one might think there is an army, or at least a platoon, of employees at CAGW, but that list includes a grand total of six people) for laying the groundwork for this opportunity.  Doug McKelway specifically referred to CAGW's 2013 Prime Cuts as the source for the five stories.  CAGW has been producing Prime Cuts since 1993 - it was nice to see someone finally recognize that there were plenty of good news stories within this year's 557 recommendations that would save $581 billion in one year and $1.8 trillion over five years. On to the shows.  In addition to using my comments for all five stories (presuming that includes tonight, which is Friday, March 29), the segments also included comments from former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.). The Special Report series was called "What to Cut."  Monday's topic was a general overview of the growth of government; Tuesday's was excess property; Wednesday's was civil service and the difficulty of firing federal workers; Thursday's was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; and Friday's will be agriculture subsidies, specifically sugar, peanuts and dairy. On Tuesday, for Fox and Friends' "Cut This Not That" report, I spoke about excess property, and this morning, Thursday, I spoke about the sugar, peanut and dairy programs. A constant barrage of reports on wasteful spending is essential to changing the culture of spending in Washington.  A combination of taxpayers, fiscally conservative organizations, and the media is necessary for success.  For example, when CAGW issued the first Congressional Pig Book in 1991, there was very little discussion about pork-barrel spending.  After the 2005 highway bill included the "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska, the combination of additional taxpayer groups, media investigations, and a growing number of representatives and senators who started calling for an end to earmarks finally led to the earmark moratorium in 2010. Hopefully, the Fox News Channel series will pave the way for even greater victories in the ongoing war on waste.

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