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.




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.

Murtha Named Porker of the Year

After weeks of voting, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) announced the final results of its online poll for the 2007 Porker of the Year.  Rep. John “Jack” Murtha (D-Pa.) won in a landslide victory.  The veteran porker received 63.4 percent of the vote.  A distant second, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) received 10.6 percent, while Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) came in with 9.9 percent, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) had 6.7 percent, and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) both finished up with 4.1 percent.  The finalists were chosen by CAGW staff from among the 12 Porker of the Month winners for 2007.

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.

Three Coins in a Fountain

When one tosses a coin into a fountain it is customary to make a wish. The wish could be as substantial as, “I wish for the winning numbers to the lottery,” or it could be as elusive as “I wish for cancer to be cured.”  Until the budget for the fiscal year of 2009 was drafted, never before has a wish dictated the potential use of the discarded currency.

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.

Binging On Taxpayer Dollars

The over-indulgent, over-zealous party attendee can certainly be an obnoxious component of any weekend celebration.  This individual is often referred to as That Guy.

The societal pressures on a returning serviceman can, at times, be overwhelming.  However, when the Department of Defense (DoD), as reported by the American Forces Press Service on January 27, 2005, tries to curb these pressures with a $13 million program called TRICARE that purports to give them the “tools” to make healthy adjustments to their potentially unruly behavior, one cannot help but question its usefulness.  The website ThatGuy.com is one such attempt.

IRS Still Plagued By Security Vulnerability

The Government Accountability Project (GAO) released a report on January 8, 2008 documenting the mediocre progress made by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) toward tightening its information security systems.  The GAO said: “The IRS is at increased risk of unauthorized access to and disclosure, modification, and destruction of financial and taxpayer information, as well as inadvertent or deliberate disruption of system operations and services.” 

Rep. Hal Rogers “Road to Nowhere.”

The Kentucky Courier Journal ran a series of articles on December 16 and 17, 2007, on a wasteful pork project, the proposed Interstate 66.  This is another “road to nowhere” that dramatically demonstrates how a politician’s desire to “bring home the bacon” trumps other needed public works.

FCC Trying to Take Over Your TV

WHEEL OF FORTUNE! <click> It slices, it dices- <click>Tony Romo, back to pass <click>.  These are the sounds of America’s quintessential channel surfers, as they look for that perfect show to watch.  But if Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin has his way, this activity would be under stricter government control and ultimately more expensive to consumers.

Big Time ARM Wrestling

The country continues to experience uncertainty and volatility in the financial markets as a result of the crisis in the mortgage industry.  Financial services companies have been hit hard.  For example, Merrill Lynch announced an $8.4 billion writedown in October, and Citigroup received a $7.5 billion infusion of cash from investors in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

For its part, Congress has been trying to help homeowners who face foreclosure or need help refinancing homes they can no longer afford.  Developments in the mortgage market are fluid and the industry began taking corrective action to mitigate problems for some subprime borrowers.  One housing advocate told The Wall Street Journal that some loan-service providers are “already freezing rates for five to seven years.” 

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