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.




Congressmen Keep Pork Projects Cooking

Despite the moratorium on all earmarks agreed to by House Republicans on March 11, 2010, and a ban on earmarks to for-profit companies adoptedby House Democrats the previous day, both sides of the aisle are finding ways to circumvent their own rules. 

The DISCLOSE Act: Free Speech for Some, Hefty Price for Others

The House of Representatives is currently embroiled in a battle overH.R. 5175, the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act.  The legislation has caused a firestorm among lawmakers and politically active organizations as it seeks to use the Citizens United v.

Playing Politics with The Anthrax Vaccine

The anthrax attacks of October, 2001 may seem like a distant memory to many Americans, but the incidents created widespread alarm, prompting a debate within the U.S. government over how to better protect the nation from the critical threat of chemical and biological weapons attacks.

Congress Spends Without a Budget

Deficits are soaring and spending continues unrestrained.  Americans are infuriated at a government that does not appear to care about how much is being spent or even if the spending has any relation to the amount of revenue coming into the government.  Neither President Obama nor Congress appear to care how much this spending will cost future generations in higher taxes just to pay the interest on all of the money borrowed and spent today.

Making Fiscal Sense in New Jersey

Politicians frequently stand on soapboxes and tell voters what they want to hear, but often fail to back their words up with action after they are elected.  President Obama did this during the 2008 presidential race when he promised that people would be able to keep their doctor if healthcare reform passed and assuredeveryone making less than $250,000 thatthey would not be hit with any new tax increases.  Now that the healthcare bill has passed,citizens are discovering that that their doctors are dropping private insurers and most taxpayers will have to pay moreto provide health benefits for everybody.

Government Acquisition Waste

When purchasing necessary items, the government buys from private businesses, both large and small.  For contracts greater than $100,000, companies go through a convoluted and highly regulated bidding process, which allows losing bidders to file a protest with the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  The protest filing procedures are complicated and costly.  Although the number of protestsis lower than it was in the mid-1990s, they have ri

Pigs on the Wing–The Aerial Refueling Tanker Contract Dispute Continues

The battle to build the Air Force’s next generation of aerial refueling tankers continues to fuel wasteful lobbying and insider dealing in Washington D.C.  The $35 billion deal is as closely contested as ever, which is no surprise given the amount of money at stake. Defense Industry Daily’s initial valuation of the program in January 2007 predicted the contracts could exceed $100 billion.

Cash for…Caulkers?

“Cash for Caulkers” sounds like a comical spin-off of the notorious “Cash for Clunkers” program.  But on May 6, 2010, the House of Representatives made sure this was no joke, voting 246-161 in favor of H.R. 5019, the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010.  The legislation authorizes a $5.7 billion program that will offer rebates to homeowners for renovations made using energy-efficient “green” materials, including better insulation and energy-saving windows and doors.

The Ongoing Farce of the “Emergency Supplementals”

As the House of Representatives rushed to finish legislative business in advance of the Memorial Day recess, the fate of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010Supplemental Appropriations Bill was pushed off until lawmakers returnon June 8.  The bill allocates $37.5 billion to support ongoing war efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Unfortunately, it also piles on tens of billions of dollars in additional funding for dozens of non-emergency items, all of which add to the $1.56 trillion annual deficit and the national debt, which topped $13 trillion on May 25, 2010, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

GM’s “Claims” of Repayment

During the economic crisis that unfolded over the last few years, the federal government became the lender of the last resort, not because it had any money, but because it had the ability to borrow money on behalf of the taxpayers to lend to struggling businesses. 

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