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 blog@cagw.org.




Seattle Soda Tax Not Doing Too Well

While the rest of us were popping champagne to celebrate the arrival of 2018, Seattle greeted the New Year with a 1.75 cent per ounce tax on sweetened beverages.  It was needed, former Mayor Ed Murray once said, for a host of noble reasons: to reduce sugar consumption; to raise revenue for important projects like a year of “free” community college for all graduating public high school students; and, to subsidize purchases of healthy foods by low-income f

Myths and Realities: Earmarks

Reality:  Earmarks are not the answer to mitigating the extreme partisanship that exists in Washington and are have nothing to do with getting things done.

Taxpayers and Patients Win First Round on 340B Drug Discount Rule

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) discussed in its November 7, 2017 WasteWatcher blog, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) final rule for Medicare Part B that will lower costs to taxpayers and Medicare beneficiaries for certain outpatient pharmaceuticals purchased under the 340B drug discount program.

Congress Should Not Bring Back the Marketplace Fairness Act

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales for 2017 are expected to increase by between 3.6 to 4 percent over last year. During this busy time of year for e-commerce, it is a good time to reiterate that Congress should not bring back the Marketplace Fairness Act.

Texas Should Consider Using the Rainy Day Fund Sooner Rather than Later

What will likely turn out to be the largest natural disaster in Texas’ history swept ashore on August 25, 2017.  Hurricane Harvey was the rainiest tropical storm in history to hit the U.S.

Obamacare Enrollments Predicted to be Lower in 2018

Open season for individuals to sign up for a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) healthcare plan started on November 1, 2017 and will close Friday, December 15, 2017.  With the average premium for the second-lowest cost silver plan, often called the “benchmark” plan, increasing by 37 percent for a 27-year-old, it seems likely that many people will decide not to purchase health insurance in 2018.

The Sky is Not Falling, and the World isn't Going to End

The sign that appears in quaint shops and businesses across the country, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” originated from a 1939 British motivational poster.  This applies universally and over time; it is particularly relevant in a world that responds instantaneously to social media and “news.”

Up In Smoke: What Happened to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement Money?

In November 1998, forty-six US states, along with the District of Columbia and five US territories, and the major tobacco companies entered into a contract of an extraordinary nature.  (The other four states, Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Texas, had entered similar agreements on their own beginning the year before.)  The agreement, known as the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), represented the culmination of a decades-long argument between the tob

The Clock is Delayed but Still Ticking for E-Cigarettes

The Family Smoking and Prevention Tobacco Control Act Tobacco became law in June 2009 and gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of all tobacco products.  On May 5, 2016, the FDA finalized a rule that brought all tobacco products under its authority, including Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), such as e-cigarettes.  The regulation did

Will the Individual Mandate Finally Be Repealed?

The House of Representatives and the Senate are vigorously working to pass a tax reform package before the end of the year.  Both the House and Senate passed their budget resolutions with reconciliation instructions by Thanksgiving, a necessary step in order to craft their respective tax reform packages.

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