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

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Privacy Act (ECPA), the law that established the standards for government access to private electronic communications, out of date.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. 

Obamacare Repeal Has Started

Let’s be clear. There is no fixing Obamacare. Insurance premiums have skyrocketed, deductibles are so high that an insurance plan is almost worthless to millions of Americans, people have fewer choices, and many insurers are leaving the exchanges in numerous counties across the country. Remember how President Obama promised his healthcare reform law would save families $2,500 per year in premium payments or if you liked your plan, you could keep it?

The opposite happened.

Statement by CAGW President Tom Schatz on the Beginning of the 115th Congress

CAGW President Tom Schatz released the following statement on the start of the 115th Congress:

Anachronistic Earmark Offering from Culberson, Rogers, and Rooney

Americans might fondly remember 2006:  Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest was the top grossing movie, Sexyback by Justin Timberlake was at the top of the charts, and Bob Barker announced his retirement from The Price is Right.

Power of the Purse and Budget Process Reform

Since the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (CBA) was first passed, Congress has been able to pass the 12 appropriations bills on time on only three occasions; the most recent was in 1997.  Although the CBA has been amended several times, the budget process remains as broken as it is confusing.  It allows members of Congress to use gimmicks and waivers to avoid budget “requirements” that have necessitated the enactment of continuing resolutions and massive spending packages to keep the government running. 

Fixing the FCC

The peaceful transfer of power to a new administration has been a key part of the nation’s history.  This is particularly important when there is a change in parties at the White House. 

Beware of Midnight Regulations

As President Barack Obama’s term comes to an end, many federal agencies and departments are attempting to beat the clock by jamming a flurry of new regulations onto the books before January 20, 2017. 

Recovery Auditors and the Administrative Law Backlog: More "Fake News" Debunked

News junkies have been inundated lately with commentary on the ubiquity of “fake news” and its viral spread online.  On December 12, 2016, The New York Times President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson gave a thought-provoking speech before the Detroit Economic Club in which he made some incisive observations about the epidemic of junk news, including the fact that in this new anything-goes, free-for-all information environment, it is easy to forget that “fake news is not new.  The spreading of false rumors for political advantage, for pure malice, or just for entertainment, is as old as the hills….Until something is proven to be false, it’ll remain a story.  …Though it often seems like it to partisans, this is not a battle between Left and Right.  …It’s a battle between facts and lies.”

The Trump Trifecta: Three Branches, New Faces

The chattering political class, with scant exception, prognosticated that Donald J. Trump had only the narrowest of opportunities to win the White House in the 2016 general election.  Indeed, many such solons suggested that his bombastic style, in addition to losing his own race, might also cost the Republicans control of the Senate (all but a foregone conclusion, given that the GOP was in a much more vulnerable position, defending 24 of the 34 seats up for election).


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