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.




Pentagon’s Travel System Still Grounded

There are a lot of reasons to complain about air travel:  overbooking, rising costs, delays, cancellations, uncomfortable seats, and rude passengers, among others.  With all of these hassles, travelers do have a plethora of online travel services to try and obtain the cheapest flight.  With the immense of amount of travel undertaken by the federal government and especially the Department of Defense, an online travel system sounds like a marriage made in heaven.  Unfortunately, combining logic and the federal government is as easy as putting a square peg in a round hole.

Extreme Makeover: San Joaquin River

How much should it cost to restore salmon to a river?  Try $22 million per salmon under legislation that is moving through Congress. 

Earmarks Invade DC

An op-ed in the May 17 Washington Post by Colbert King showed that earmarks know no boundaries.  King cited $56 million in projects in the District of Columbia’s budget that were “initiated and approved by the [city] council without extensive executive branch review.” 

Fill’er Up with Politics

The Air Force refueling tanker saga started with a provision added to the fiscal 2002 Defense Appropriations Act directing the Air Force to lease 100 Boeing 767’s for new fuel tankers.  It was not only one of the worst examples of corporate welfare, this no-bid lease also ballooned into a major scandal.  Eventually, the Air Force’s chief negotiator on the tanker contract and Boeing’s number-two corporate officer went to jail and Boeing was fined more than $600 million.

Coconut Road Outrage

An update on the ongoing drama associated with what CAGW has dubbed “the immaculate earmark.”

What’s In Your Wallet? Free Goodies Courtesy of Taxpayers

In an audit of federal employees’ use of credit cards, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found some shocking charges with a debatable relationship to necessary costs.  For example, during more than 15 consecutive months between 2004 and 2006, a U.S. postmaster charged $1,100 to two Internet dating services, and faced no disciplinary action for the fraudulent transactions.  For nearly six years, a Department of Agriculture employee charged more than $642,000 to her government account, covering expenses ranging from car loans to gambling. 

Home, Home on the Range, Where the Big Railroad Companies Graze Or South Dakotans Should Choo Choo Choose Their Own Destiny

When one thinks of western South Dakota, one imagines sweeping vistas and beautiful ranches.  However, the Dakota, Minnesota, & Eastern Railroad (DM&E) is threatening to grab massive swaths of this beautiful private land in western South Dakota to build 120 miles of new rail line.

Europe Assaults U.S. Businesses

As the global economy slows, every effort should be made to encourage businesses to invest, innovate, and market their products around the world.  Unfortunately for taxpayers and investors, European regulators are abusing their power in a manner that will adversely impact the ability of the world to avoid the worst results of the current slowdown.

Moran-ic Statements

Rep. James “Jim” Moran (D-Va.), a member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, has threatened to play politics with the defense bill following President Bush’s promise to veto any bill that does not cut the cost and number of earmarks in half.  “Defense is the only bill where we’re going to give him anything he wants. And because that’s the one he wants, it’ll be full of earmarks and he’s not going to issue a peep about that,” Moran said, according to CQ Today on January 29, 2008, the day after President Bush issued the veto threat during the State of the Union address.

Rep. Young Squeals at Nomination

Porker of the Year 2007 candidate Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) took offense to his nomination and wrote a spirited yet outlandish response to CAGW President Tom Schatz defending his pork.

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