CAGW’s Tom Schatz Testifies Before Senate Subcommittee on Federal Oversight

(Washington, D.C.) Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) President Tom Schatz testified today before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management.  The hearing was titled “Wasteful Spending in the Federal Government: An Outside Perspective.” 

Schatz’s full testimony highlighted the most pervasive examples of government waste in the federal bureaucracy today, provided the committee with concrete solutions to the epidemic of wasteful federal spending.  Many of these recommendations can be found in CAGW’s most recent annual compendium of waste-cutting proposals, Prime Cuts 2015.    

Schatz’s oral testimony zeroed in on several federal agriculture programs.  For example, the 2014 Farm Bill employs price supports, prohibitive tariffs, import quotas, guaranteed loans, and domestic marketing allotments on sugar which artificially inflate the price to about 40 percent higher than its international value.  This higher cost is passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices for products that contain sugar and thousands have lost jobs as well. 

USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) has continued to syphon taxpayer dollars in the name of corporate welfare, despite congressional efforts to curb the program.  Highly successful companies like Blue Diamond, Butterball, Dole, McDonald’s, Pillsbury, Sunkist, Tyson, and Welch Foods have received advertising subsidies from MAP. Taxpayers should not subsidize any advertisements for private entities, much less highly profitable ones.

The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus) allocated $2.5 billion for the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) for its Broadband Initiatives Program for 320 projects in 44 states and territories.  However, a March 2013 USDA Inspector General (IG) report revealed numerous projects that produced overbuild and led to direct competition with incumbent private sector broadband providers.

The 15-year-old Delta Regional Authority claims to provide economic assistance to support job creation and improve local conditions for 10 million people throughout the 10 Mississippi Delta states.  These efforts are duplicative of other federal programs and support mainly parochial local projects.  CAGW’s 2015 Congressional Pig Book noted that since fiscal year (FY) 2003, the authority has received six earmarks totaling $17.8 million, including $3 million in this fiscal year.  Eliminating the Delta Regional Authority would save $75 million over five years.

“Every American would be well-served if representatives and senators came to work thinking first and foremost about how they could better manage the taxpayers’ money and solve problems effectively with the resources that are already allocated to the federal treasury,” said Schatz. 

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

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