The Swine Line: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

The Swine Line

The Swine Line is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


Another Tool to Modernize Federal IT

The federal government spends more than $80 billion annually on information technology (IT), with more than 75 percent of this spending used on operations and maintenance of existing legacy IT systems.  On May 17, 2017, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2227, the Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2017 (MGT Act). 

The Louisiana House Should Reject Pharmaceutical Price Controls

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) has been tracking numerous bills in states throughout the country that are masquerading as a way to lower drug costs by implementing pharmaceutical cost transparency.  Supporters claim the legislation will help everyone understand how prescription drugs are priced by collecting information about manufacturing costs and pricing data that would be studied and analyzed by the government.  

Pennsylvania Attempts Faulty Price Control Scheme for Prescription Drugs

In their July 2, 2015 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) commentary, “Price Transparency or TMI,” Office of Policy Planning authors Tara Isa Koslov and Elizabeth Jex noted, “Is more information about prices always a good thing for consumers and competition?  Too much transparency can harm competition in any market, including in health care markets.”

The House Passes H.R. 1628, a Bill to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017.  Only Republicans voted for the measure and every Democrat voted against it, along with 20 Republicans.  The vote was 217 to 213.

NYT Is Completely Wrong on Internet Freedom

The New York Times’ April 30 editorial on the effort by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to restore internet freedom gets everything wrong, particularly the claim that giving something for free as an inducement to sell services is somehow bad for consumers and small businesses. 

Trade Negotiations Should Review Findings of Special 301 Report

During President Trump’s campaign and throughout his first 100 days in office, there was a great deal of discussion about tearing up or renegotiating various trade agreements, especially the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.  President Trump announced on April 27, 2017 that instead of withdrawing from NAFTA, as he often suggested during the campaign,

Pharmaceutical Transparency Legislation – Sounds Good but Foolhardy

Legislation to create “transparency” in drug costs has been introduced in dozens of state legislatures across the country, purportedly to understand how prescription drugs are priced.  While details vary from state to state, all the bills would require pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide reams of pricing and cost data, much of it proprietary, to state officials.  Often the bills will drag in other private-sector entities involved in pharmaceutical pricing negotiations, such as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and insurers.

New Bill Opens Discussion on Music Rights

On April 5, 2017, Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) introduced H.R. 1914, the Performance Royalty Owners of Music Opportunity To Earn Act of 2017 (PROMOTE Act).  This legislation would grant sound recording copyright owners the exclusive right to prohibit the broadcast transmission of sound recordings by means of terrestrial radio stations.

Waste Abounds in the Land of the Midnight Sun

On Wednesday, April 5, 2017 the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a hearing to consider the construction of a road linking the town of King Cove to Cold Bay, and the latter’s all-weather airport.  At issue is H.R.

Big Pharma DOES Negotiate Drug Prices

On March 7, 2017, President Trump tweeted he was "working on a new system where there will be competition in the Drug Industry.  Pricing for the American people will come way down."  The next day, in a meeting with Representatives Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) , the president reiterated that he wanted to do something about U.S.

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