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.


Big Sugar's Sweet Deal Gets More Costly

For many years, Big Sugar has claimed that the government's sugar program operates at no cost to taxpayers. Citizens Against Government Waste and other opponents of the program have consistently objected to that claim, pointing out that while the sugar processors pay into the program, there is a cost to taxpayers through the bureaucracy that is necessary to administer the program, as well as higher prices to federal feeding programs, which have to pay higher costs for products that contain sugar along with consumers. There is also a cost to the economy through the loss of jobs in companies

No Surprise Here

“Obamacare Applications As Tricky As Your Taxes?” screams one of the many headlines from an AP report printed in newspapers across the country.   The article states the draft application for getting insurance via Obamacare from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was “quietly posted online…seeking feedback from industry and consumer groups.  Those materials, along with a recent HHS presentation to insurers, run counter to the vision of simplicity promoted by administration officials.”

Congress Requests GAO Investigation into Broadband Overbuild

On February 13, 2013, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on the broadband stimulus programs managed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS).  At that hearing, a number of concerns were raised about the issue of overbuild within the programs across rural America, and issue that was highlighted in a previous Swineline blog post.

Medicare Costs per Beneficiary are Skyrocketing

Although one of the main drivers of Medicare’s unsustainable cost structure is that as the baby boomer generation retires, more people will be enlisting and using its services, this is not the only driver.  While this is certainly true, not enough light is shone on the other contributing factors to rising Medicare costs.  As a March 10, 2013 article in The Washington Post points out, Medicare spending per beneficiary is growing at an a

Pay No Attention to Those Political Appointees Behind the Curtain

Recently, the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard informed readers that President’s Obama’s top political appointees make an average of $142,691 annually.  He notes this is more than three times the average American wage of $42,979.  In addition, those which work closest with the president make anywhere from $120,000 to $172,000, with the higher end being more than twice the average salary ($84,000) in the Washington metropolitan area.   Bedard suggests it is going to be pretty t

Provocative Social Security Reforms

Entitlements - Social Security:
America has a significant, current and growing problem with both the absolute amount of entitlement spending, as well as the portion of total Federal governmental spending represented by this spending category. In this Commentary I will discuss only Social Security, and will take up the other "entitlements" separately. I chose Social Security to start with as I believe it is the easiest to permanently fix (the low hanging fruit.)
Definitions:

More Hysterics from Organizing for Action

Just got hold of yet another email from Organizing for Action, President Obama’s perpetual campaign operation, about the sequester.  Stephanie Cutter, the president’s former deputy campaign manager, sent the email to volunteers, lamenting how the nation was forced into the sequester because of GOP’s “obstructionism.”  (As you will recall, the sequester is a process to reduce spending that President Obama and Congress agreed to back in 2011, in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.)

Time to Act on IG Recommendations

The House and Senate (after four years) Budget Committees will mark up the fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget resolution next week.  Budget resolutions provide spending limits for each budget account, leaving specific policy decisions to authorization and appropriations committees.  That does preclude suggestions for how to save money; in particular, both budget resolutions should call for the implementation of open recommendations from federal agency inspectors general (IGs).  According to a March 5 

Snow-quester: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to (Work?)

In 2010, Washingtonians lived through Snowmageddon.  Some referred to it as the Snowpocalypse.  Today, the federal government was “Snow-questered.”

The Case Against Keystone XL Gets Weaker

Late Friday afternoon, right around when most people likely tuned out and stopped reading the news, the State Department released a report stating that the Keystone XL Pipeline would have little impact on climate change.  Needless to say, this deals a major blow to one of the main groups opposing the pipeline.

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