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

FCC Moves Headlong into Free Data Investigation

In the latest net neutrality salvo, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireless Bureau has upped the ante on its investigation into free data plans offered by wireless providers on December 1, 2016.  At the core of the investigation is whether free data services offered to consumers violate net neutrality rules. 

Tom Price is Right

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Doctor Tom Price (R-Georgia) to be the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in his administration.  This is an excellent choice.

President Trump Must Submit Paris Climate Agreement to the Senate

On November 14, President Obama made the following remarks in a press conference before his final foreign trip.  When asked about legal constraints placed on him by Congress (specifically with respect to prisoners housed at Guantanamo Bay and his belief that the limitations were unconstitutional), he said, “One of the things you discover about being President is that there are all these rules and norms and laws, and you got to pay attention to them.

Taxpayers Fund Absurd Government Marketing

According to Gallup, Americans’ trust in government rests near an all-time low.  Gallup’s 2015 survey found that, “Fewer than three-in-ten Americans have expressed trust in the federal government in every major national poll conducted since July 2007 – the longest period of low trust in government in more than 50 years.”  There are copious reasons for this valid opinion. 

Tobacco Harm-Reduction: Big League Healthcare Savings

In the twenty-first century, remarkable technology innovations have improved nearly every aspect of everyone's lives. Smart TVs and smartphones are the most well-known examples; however, these innovations even extend to smoking.

Procurement Blues: Competition Needed to Fix Defense Contracting

Upon assuming the office of Secretary of Defense in February 2015, Ashton Carter prioritized recruiting private sector companies – especially those in technology industries – to bid on contracts awarded by the Department of Defense (DOD).

Time to Cut the Billions in Improper Payments

When the average American sees an incorrect charge on his or her credit card statement, a quick to call the bank ensues to ensure that the money is promptly returned. Unfortunately, the federal government is not as efficient.  Since 2010, federal government improper payments have totaled nearly $600 billion, mostly (90 percent) in overpayments.

The Turducken of Broadband

A turducken is the epitome of overbuild.  One takes a deboned chicken, covers it in stuffing, wraps it with a deboned duck, adds some more stuffing on top of the duck, and wraps it again with a deboned turkey.  That may be all well and good for a hearty Thanksgiving, but it is no feast when a city or town decides to spend taxpayer dollars to build a government-run broadband network.  The thick layers of government control over easements, pole attachments, permitting requirements, and the local tax base that are slapped together to directly compete against private internet providers make a turducken look like a simple endeavor. 

CMMI is Neither Centered nor Innovative

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) sounds like it should be involved in ground-breaking, state-of-the-art healthcare projects and programs.  However, the center was created in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, which in and of itself raises red flags. 

Lame-Duck Session, 114th Congress: The Victors, the Vanquished, and the Un-Inaugurated

For anyone unfamiliar with the patois of politics, the term “lame duck” may seem like a bit of an odd duck, rhetorically speaking.  As defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the more common understanding of this phrase is “an elected official or group continuing to hold political office during the period between the election and the inauguration of a successor.”  But it is the dictionary’s first definition, one identified as “chiefly British,” that may be more descriptive of the current Congress:  “one that is weak or t


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