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.




Can President Trump Finally End the VA Scandal?

As the nation prepares for the transfer of power from the Obama administration to the Trump administration, the issue of veteran healthcare and the insidious and continuing wait-times scandal remains a critical area of concern.

Modernizing Federal Information Technology

President Trump has made it clear that he wants to make significant changes in how government programs are managed.  One of the best sources of the worst examples of wasteful spending for the president and his team is the Government Accountability Office (GAO) High Risk List, which every two years identifies agencies and program areas that are vulnerable to waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.  In GAO’s 2015 report, improving the management of information technology (IT) acquisitions and operations made the high risk list for the very first time.  According to the report, “federal IT investments too frequently fail or incur cost overruns and schedule slippages while contributing little to mission-related outcomes."

Mulvaney Faces Uphill Battle on Defense Spending

Incoming Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) will be tasked with developing plans to cut trillions of dollars in spending, based on the ideas being floated by the Trump transition team.  While there are always challenges to implement such proposals, mostly from members of Congress, any suggestions to cut defense spending will face a particularly tough fight.  However, Director Mulvaney should be a good fit for this effort.  During his tenure in the House of Representatives, he established a track record of pushing to reduce both domestic and defense spending.

Making Healthcare Great

The repeal and replacement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has begun.  On January 3, 2017, the day the 115th Congress was sworn in, Senate Budget Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) introduced S. Con. Res 3, a budget resolution for fiscal year 2017.  This was not an ordinary budget bill, since its only purpose was to serve as a framework to repeal Obamacare.  The most important part of the resolution is reconciliation instructions for the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committees, and the House Ways and Means (W&M) and Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committees to write repeal legislation.

How to Make the Budget Great Again

With the beginning of a new administration, the best and brightest in leadership are often selected to advise the President.  House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (R-Ga.), who has been nominated as the secretary of Health and Human Services, fits that description.  He will not only be an excellent secretary; he has been an exceptional chairman of the committee.  In December, 2016, Chairman Price proposed a series of changes to the budget process.  His reforms, which will help return the budget process to regular order, include:

CAGW Statement on Designation of Commissioner Ajit Pai as FCC Chair

On January 23, 2017, it was announced that President Trump has designated Ajit Pai as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

The following statement can be attributed to CAGW President Tom Schatz upon learning of this designation:

HHS Secretary Tom Price: Just What the Doctor Ordered

The left is doing their best in trying to disrupt and stop Dr. Tom Price’s nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).  They are throwing every smear and outrageous accusation they can up against the wall, hoping something sticks.  Why?  Because Dr.

President Trump Immediately Lives Up to a Campaign Promise

President Donald Trump lived up to a campaign promise and began the process to repeal and replace “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)”, or Obamacare, within hours of becoming president.  On Friday night, he signed an executive order to “Minimize the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal.”  The executive order requires government agencies to minimize “unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act, and to prepare to afford the States more flexi

TV Blackouts on the Rise Again

Cable subscribers across the country may be wondering what is going on when they receive notices across their screens threatening the potential loss of one channel or another.  The comments encourage the viewer to contact their local cable or satellite operator if they want to continue watching their favorite shows, making it appear that only the service provider is at fault. 

Email Privacy Legislation Reintroduced in the House

Advances in technology over the past 30 years have rendered the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the law that established the standards for government access to private electronic communications, out of date.  ECPA was enacted in 1986, long before individuals and companies connected with each other electronically and stored information through email and in the cloud.  Today’s society communicates in a dramatically different manner than in 1986, with an increasing amount of data stored digitally with third party providers, including emails and other date stored in the cloud. 

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