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)."

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

Legal Services Nonprofit Wastes Tax Dollars

By Alexa Moutevelis

Wastewatcher, October 2006

Free legal help is getting more expensive for taxpayers and much of the money is going to waste.

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC), which received $330.8 million in fiscal 2006, distributes money to 138 local nonprofit legal aid organizations across the country to help provide free legal services for the indigent.  However... more

College Town Poverty – Ramen Noodles AGAIN?

By Sean Kennedy

Wastewatcher, October 2006

            It’s an early afternoon on a crisp fall day in an average college town.  In preparation for the game, young professionals are piling into local bars and restaurants to see their alma mater play.  The late risers are lining up at the numerous downtown coffee shops to inject some caffeine prior to kickoff.  After the game,... more

USPS Chief Living Large

By Leslie K. Paige

Wastewatcher, September 2006

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is fond of describing itself as a business, on par with some Fortune 100 companies.  However, a recent investigation by the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) into allegations of misconduct of one of its chief spokespersons, Vice-President for Public Affairs and Communications (PAC)... more

Spending Database is a Big Victory for Taxpayers

By Elizabeth L. Wright

Wastewatcher, September 2006

On September 18, Congress finally passed S. 2590, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006.  But this victory for taxpayers was not won without controversy and confronting shenanigans caused by spendthrift porkers in the Senate.

Introduced in April 2006 by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Barack Obama... more

A Little Rain, A Lot of Waste in Florida

By Sean Kennedy

Wastewatcher, September 2006

How can a tempest that failed to arrive cost taxpayers $17 million?  That is the estimated price of the impact of Hurricane Ernesto on South Florida.  If you thought, as I had, that Ernesto struck the United States farther north and hardly affected the Sunshine State, you would be correct.  $17 million is the amount some counties in... more

Salvage the Good from the Healthcare Debacle

By Thomas A. Schatz, President, Citizens Against Government Waste and Orson Swindle,
CAGW Board Member and Federal Trade Commissioner from 1997-2005

WasteWatcher, August 2006


The healthcare reform juggernaut, arguably the most radical attempt to remake the economy and the nation’s healthcare infrastructure in history, was supposed to have flown through Congress... more

Our Federal Government: Making a Bad Situation Worse

By Gary Barnett

WasteWatcher, August 2006

The benevolent federal government has found a way to spend almost one billion dollars exposing its citizens to a deadly carcinogen in the name of a humanitarian effort. 

In an attempt to provide 18 months of free housing to Hurricane Katrina victims, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) has deployed more than 160,000... more


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CAGW Names Rep. Tom Rooney May 2017 Porker of the Month

Rep. Rooney is CAGW's May Porker of the Month for his his reckless push to revive earmarks, one of the most corrupt practices in the history of Congress.