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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.




Pork Alert Roundup

On July 1, 2010, Citizens Against Government Waste began issuing its annual flurry of Pork Alerts, which highlight earmarks in the annual appropriation bills.  In a perfect world, the House and the Senate would each release a version of the 12 appropriations bills throughout the summer and early fall.  However, the process rarely runs that smoothly.

Flood Insurance Still Soaks the Taxpayer

In early July, politicians in Washington, D.C. missed an opportunity to improve the failing National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) when Congress passed another short-term reauthorization that expires on September 30, 2010.  A second bite at the apple was even more misguided when on July 15, 2010, the House passed H.R. 5114, the Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act, a five-year reauthorization of the NFIP, which expanded the program.

The Fannie and Freddie Meltdown: Picking Up PACE

On September 6, 2008, the nation’s two largest housing government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken under conservatorship by the U.S. Treasury. 

Creating More Federal Employees

The debt of our nation is soaring.  The U.S. Government has spent more than $13 trillion above what it has taken in.  The Obama Administration and Democratic majority in Congress have passed policies causing government to grow faster than ever adding more than $1.4 trillion in additional debt this fiscal year alone.   

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. 

Carolina on Taxpayers Minds

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) has never been accused of being a fiscal hawk.  In fact, he is quite well known for bringing home the bacon.  CAGW’s 2010 Congressional Pig Book documented 41 earmarks worth $55 million requested by Rep. Clyburn.

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.

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.

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