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.




Building the Digital Bridge

In 2014, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) President Tom Schatz and I co-authored a book, Telecom Unplugged: Ushering in a New Digital Era.  Some of the material in the book became out of date with the advent of the Open Internet Order on February 26, 2015, and passage of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act on February 24, 2016.

Confirmation Congestion: 124 Down, More Than 1,000 to Go

President Donald Trump has the authority to fill more than 4,000 executive positions, of which 1,212 require Senate confirmation.  According to a joint study by The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service, as of August 22, 2017, the Senate has confirmed 124 Trump nominees, with 277 nominations pending.  By comparison, President George W. Bush had 294 confirmations, with 414 pending nominations by August 22, 2001; while President Obama reached 310 confirmations and 433 pending nominations by August 22, 2009.  The confirmation of less than half the number of Bush and Obama nominees has hindered the advancement of President Trump’s agenda.

Security Weaknesses in Pentagon Excess Property Program

The Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) handles the management of logistical support for the military.  It also runs the 1033 program, which transfers excess Department of Defense (DOD) property to federal, tribal, state, and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs) across the United States and its territories.  Since its inception, this program has transferred more than $6 billion worth of DOD property to participating LEAs.

ECPA Modernization Act of 2017 Introduced

The following statement is attributable to Thomas A. Schatz, President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste on the introduction of the ECPA Modernization Act of 2017 on July 27, 2017:

Congress Reacts to Largest Federal Healthcare Fraud Enforcement Action

On Thursday, July 13, 2017, the Department of Justice (DoJ) announced in a press release the largest healthcare fraud enforcement action in its history.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, M.D., announced the takedown, in which over 412 individuals were found responsible for $1.3 billion in fraud losses. 

The Dangers of Single-Payer Healthcare

CAGW’s June 2017 Porker of the Month was Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who earned the “honor” in part due to his outspoken and unwavering support of the single-payer healthcare system.  Sen. Sanders touts the system as the “morally principled” option; in reality, it would create long waiting times, cause a massive increase in taxes, and allow bureaucrats in Washington to make decisions that ought to be made between doctors and patients.  

Vacant VA Buildings Cost Taxpayers Millions

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has gone through many trials and travails over the past several years.  A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) exposed another aspect of the department that enables waste and mismanagement.

FCC Chairman Takes Action to Fix Lifeline

It is mind-boggling when the government continues to squander money on a program that has been on the front line of wasteful spending, and program abuse.  Yet, that is exactly what the Universal Service Fund (USF) continues to do with through Low-Income Support program, which provides subsidies to low-income households for telephone and broadband service.

The 21st AIRR Act Takes Off

On June 22, 2017, House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) introduced H.R. 2997, the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act.  The legislation will provide for a six-year reauthorization and significant reforms to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

ATC Privatization Would Bring U.S. Airport Industry to New Heights

On June 5, 2017 President Donald Trump announced his proposal to privatize the Air Traffic Control (ATC) system as part of a broader plan to drastically improve American infrastructure. Approximately 932 million Americans took to the sky in 2016, more than the air traffic of China, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom combined.   The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is already charged with overseeing the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartfield-Jackson International Airport, and the fourth-busiest, Los Angeles International Airport.

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