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)."

Flying High: HHS Secretary Proves Pork Can Fly

By Douglas Rogers

Wastewatcher, July 2006

Mike Leavitt’s got a ticket to ride, and he don’t care.  The Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary used a luxury private jet, leased by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention for use only in emergencies, to rack up $720,000, or 60 percent, of the $2.1 million the jet has cost taxpayers since January.

Leavitt made... more

Forest Party

By Mary Krulia

Wastewatcher, June 2006

Every year, South Carolina Forest Service employees participate in the All Employee Conference.  The three-day conference has become an all-inclusive vacation on the taxpayers’ dime.  Activities include arts and crafts, horseshoes, and senior bingo. 

According to a whistleblower who wishes to remain anonymous, the All Employee... more

Mary Krulia

By Grifters Give FEMA a Run for Their Money

Wastewatcher, June 2006

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released its audit of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) efforts in the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.  The report estimated that fraudulent payments totaled between $600 million and $1.4 billion. 

Through the Individuals and... more

Swimming in Pork

By Douglas Rogers

Wastewatcher, June 2006

House Appropriations Chairman Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) went off the deep end recently when he earmarked a whopping $1 million for a swimming pool in his district.  Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate act as the gatekeepers to the lucrative business of earmarks and, as chairman, Rep. Lewis holds noteworthy influence to... more

A Tale of Two Continents

America and Europe have two different visions of how to succeed in business. Europe does it

without really trying, and America does it the old-fashioned way, by working hard and making

higher quality and more desired products. This is particularly true in technology, which is one

explanation for the European Commission’s (EC) ongoing crusade against Microsoft.

Since... more

The Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment

By Katherine Walkenhorst

Wastewatcher, May 2006

The federal government’s continuing prosecution of medical marijuana patients undermines federalism and fiscal restraint.  For the fourth year in a row, the House will vote on an amendment sponsored by Reps. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.).  The amendment would prohibit the federal government from arresting... more

Iowa Nonprofit is Latest Earmark Outrage

by: Tom Finnigan

The Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium (CIETC) is a nonprofit organization that provides job-training services for the Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) program.  As extensively reported by The Des Moines Register, the group’s top three executives were recently fired after a state audit found that they collected a combined $1.8 million in salaries... more

The Invasive Nature of “Net Neutrality”

By Katherine Walkenhorst

WasteWatcher, April 2006

The world has seen an incredible increase in computer and Internet capabilities over the last decade.  This expansion has been spurred by the capitalist principles of competition.  The dynamism of the Internet is now being threatened by politicians who want to regulate it.  If implemented, regulation will stifle competition, raise... more

Taxpayers Get Railroaded

By Sean Kennedy

WasteWatcher, April 2006

In an emergency supplemental appropriations bill designed to provide $92 billion for the war on terror and hurricane relief, Mississippi Senators Trent Lott (R) and Thad Cochran (R) added $700 million to relocate newly repaired railroad tracks.  The costly pork barrel project has been jammed into an already bloated bill which currently... more

Waste on a Plane

By Jessica Shoemaker

WasteWatcher, April 2006

Any traveler would prefer champagne, fine dining, and ample leg room on their next plane flight.  However, most people either cannot afford a premium class ticket or deem it not worth the extra expense.  Charging the tickets to the government has a way of changing the equation.  An April 2006 Government Accountability Office report... 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