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.




CBO Projects Strong Economic Growth in 2018 and 2019; Trillion Dollar Deficits By 2020

Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its annual Budget and Economic Outlook for 2018 to 2028.  In order to include several important pieces of budget and spending legislation that passed recently, particularly the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Bipartisan Budget Act, and the Omnibus Appropriations package, CBO pushed its usual January release date to April.

Online Sales Tax Debate to See Day in Court

During the first week of April, 2018, a number of organizations filed amicus briefs with the Supreme Court with respect to the case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., Overstock.com, Inc., and NewEgg, Inc.  The petitioner in the case seeks to overturn the physical nexus requirement specified by the Supreme Court in 1992, when it ruled on Quill Corp. v. North Dakota.

Americans Continue to Pay More for Sugar

As people eat their leftover Easter candy from last weekend, they may want to think about how much they paid for all those treats. Raw sugar in the United States regularly costs twice or triple the world average, and this hurts food companies and leads to high prices at the grocery store.

Stealing Patents Won’t Bring Down Drug Costs

On February 15, 2018, 18 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, asking him to use his authority under 28 U.S.C.

Are Republicans Serious About a Balanced Budget Amendment?

In 2018, Republicans have done little to separate themselves from Democrats when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars.  On February 9, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 eviscerated the last semblance of fiscal responsibility in Washington, the 2011 Budget Control Act, by allowing spending caps to increase by $300 billion over the next two years.  As a follow up on March 23, with less than 24 hours of review, Congress blindly

New House Bill to Permanently Ban Earmarks

The Earmark Elimination Act—H.R. 5369—would prohibit the House from considering any legislation containing earmarks, and it would strip any earmarks found in a bill being considered by the House before it could proceed.

A Moment of Truth: Will Virginia Republicans Expand Medicaid?

On April 11, 2018, Virginia legislators will return to Richmond for a special session in which they will aim to finish work on the Commonwealth’s budget.  At center stage, yet again, is the issue of Medicaid expansion, still unresolved eight years after Obamacare became law.

Federal IT Procurement Gone Awry

The concept that federal information technology (IT) procurement should be technology and vendor neutral is among the best practices for federal government agencies.  However, when a large federal agency issues an exceptionally large cloud contract to a predetermined vendor for a specific technology solution without competitive bidding, such a contract is neither technology nor vendor neutral.  A Department of Defense (DOD) contract to fix its agency-wide cloud problem is such a case.

President Trump is Right to Stop the Gateway Boondoggle

As Congress stares down yet another funding deadline on March 23, 2018, discussion over the $900 million earmark has resurfaced.

Any Willing Pharmacy – Not as Good as it Sounds

On November 28, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule that would revise Medicare Part D, the prescription drug program.  The proposal dredges up the “any willing pharmacy” issue that would require any Part D plan sponsor, such as an insurer or a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), to allow any pharmacy to participate in their network.  While this policy has a benign name, if it is adopted, it will drive up costs for all Medicare beneficiaries, not lower them.

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