WasteWatcher

WasteWatcher is CAGW's monthly dispatch to members of the news media. Culled from dense General Accounting Office reports, obscure news items, and the occasional account of a whistleblower, WasteWatcher's stories captured headlines by transforming the dry matter of federal financial management into side-splitting -- albeit infuriating -- tales of government ineptitude.

The North Carolina Winston-Salem Journal said of WasteWatcher that it is "a monthly publication that probably deserves wider dissemination than it gets...even heavily discounted to allow for the ax CAGW is grinding, the news from its reports is high in shock value and humor (of the gallows variety)."

Solar Wall Symbolizes Failed Energy Policies

By Seth Weinstein 

Wastewatcher March 16, 2007

Congress and President Bush may revive a plan to build a giant solar panel system on the headquarters of the Department of Energy (DoE).  Intended to symbolize the government’s commitment to clean energy, the so-called “sun wall” instead shines a light on the government’s commitment to wasting tax dollars.

Conceived when... more

Deval Pork-trick

By Alexa Moutevelis

Wastewatcher March, 2007

When Governor Deval Patrick (D-Mass.) campaigned for the office, he pledged to change Beacon Hill’s “politics as usual.”  Unfortunately for the taxpayers of Massachusetts, his three month term has been anything but. 

Eyebrows were first raised when the governor backed away from campaign promises to reduce property taxes, put 1,... more

Tis the Season for Government Negligence

By Ben Giovine


Wastewatcher, December 2006


NOTE: TWO SPACES BETWEEN SENTENCES


            When the government tries to play Santa Claus, bad things happen.  The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) allows certain charitable organizations exclusive access to federal workplaces to solicit... more

Bioterrorism Spending

By Alexa Moutevelis

Wastewatcher, December 2006

After the 9/11 attacks and the deaths of five people exposed to anthrax spores sent through the mail in 2001, the federal government began pouring billions of dollars into biodefense research and development.  However, throwing money at a problem does not guarantee a solution; there must be proper follow-through and oversight to... more

Abstinence of Logic

By Sean Kennedy

Wastewatcher, December 2006

Abstinence education is not just for teenagers anymore.

In a strange shift in guidelines for grant awards, the government’s official message of no sex prior to marriage will be directed at single individuals up to 29 years old.  Hypothetically, this means a recently divorced man or woman weeks shy of their 30th... more

FEMA and Trading Spaces

By Sean Kennedy

Wastewatcher, November 2006

When a participant goes on the popular Learning Channel show Trading Spaces, they have two days to redesign a room in the home of a friend or family member.  They must remain under budget throughout the process.  Conversely, when FEMA decides to remodel, it tends to extend projects indefinitely and ignore budget limitations. ... more

Bridge to Nowhere Update

By Alexa Moutevelis

Wastewatcher, November 2006

Even though the Bridge to Nowhere has gone nowhere fast since Congress stripped it of its federal earmark, outgoing Governor Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska) is still trying to keep the project alive. 

According to the Associated Press, the lame duck governor hopes to award a $30 million contract for roadwork leading to... more

Like Father… Like Son?

By Elizabeth L. Wright

Wastewatcher, November 2006

For the past six years, Sen. Ted Stevens’ (R-Alaska) has put Alaska at the top of CAGW’s pork per capita list.  In 2006 alone, he secured a whopping $325 million in pork, or $489 per Alaskan resident.  Recent news reports show that his son, Ben Stevens, is trying to follow in his daddy’s profligate footsteps.

Since 2002,... more

The Rail Subsidy That Could

By Dave Williams

Wastewatcher, October 2006

Parents and children alike are familiar with the story, “The Little Engine That Could.”  Through perseverance and sheer determination, a small train engine pulled a train over a steep mountain even with the odds stacked against it and when other train engines didn’t think it possible.  It appears that Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) is... more

Newark Mayor Takes Taxpayers for a Ride

By Katherine Walkenhorst

Wastewatcher, October 2006

With a salary of $186,000, one would think that the mayor of Newark would have no need for taxpayers to pay for his vacations.  Think again.  Even though former mayor Sharpe James had an annual travel expense budget of $25,000, he is currently under investigation for adding $150,000 for numerous expenses and exotic vacations. ... more

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Citizens Against Government Waste Names Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz July 2017 Porker of the Month

Rep. Chaffetz is CAGW's July Porker of the Month for advocating for taxpayer-funded housing for members of Congress