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The WasteWatcher

Congressional Appropriations 101

As schools across the country open for another year, students will learn about the division of powers in the federal government.  Teachers will describe the role of Congress and the power of the purse.  They will likely teach what should happen...

September 16, 2015
The WasteWatcher

F-35 Approved for Combat, Problems Persist

The acquisition misadventures of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program have been well-documented.  In development for nearly 15 years and four years behind schedule, the program is currently projected to cost $391.1 billion for 2,457 aircraft...

August 12, 2015
The WasteWatcher

Acquisition Reform Proposal Makes Waves

Acquisition horror stories are nothing new at the Department of Defense (DOD).  The three most costly recent mishaps include the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is approximately $170 billion over budget and has encountered numerous problems with...

June 11, 2015
The WasteWatcher

End the Pentagon Slush Fund

Created in 2001 to fund the war in Afghanistan and other associated costs of the Global War on Terror, the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account was intended to be a one-time emergency supplemental.  Instead, it has been used as an annual...

April 15, 2015
The WasteWatcher

Prime Cuts 2015: Bipartisan Proposals Included

After expanding control of the House of Representatives and taking over the Senate in the November 2014 elections, Republicans have a clear mandate to reduce spending.

February 13, 2015
The WasteWatcher

Surprising Republican Support for the Return of Earmarks

During a closed-door House Republican Conference meeting on November 14, 2014, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) proposed reinstituting earmarks for “state, locality (including county and city governments), or a public utility or other public entity.”  His...

December 10, 2014
The WasteWatcher

Procurement Legacies of the Afghan War

One of the most vivid and enduring images of the U.S. departure from Vietnam remains the Navy offloading perfectly good helicopters into the South China Sea as the last of its ships sailed away.  The ongoing U.S. exodus from Afghanistan has produced...

November 13, 2014
The WasteWatcher

Rocket Monopoly

In the private sector, monopolies can charge consumers as much as they like due to a lack of competition.  When the government creates a monopoly through the use of a sole source contract, the taxpayers get stuck with the tab.

September 10, 2014
The WasteWatcher

The Cost of Free

Clay County, Missouri Police Captain Matt Hunter described his department’s new acquisition, a 54,000-pound, 10-foot tall vehicle known as a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (MRAP), as a “$750,000 machine that we got for absolutely nothing…...

July 7, 2014
The WasteWatcher

Presumptive Nominee Faces Scrutiny

The leading candidate to replace Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the outgoing Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Army Intelligence Lt. Gen. Mary Legere.  However, she may have a tough confirmation battle on...

May 21, 2014
The WasteWatcher

Murkowski’s Folly

The first rule of communications is crafting an effective message.  A March 11, 2014 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt provided a unique glimpse into how messaging used by politicians can shift over...

April 3, 2014
The WasteWatcher

Murkowski’s Folly

The first rule of communications is getting the message right.

March 20, 2014

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