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.


CBO Increases Projected Deficit Estimate

On August 5, 2016, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its “Monthly Budget Review for July 2016.”  The CBO increased its projection of fiscal year 2016 deficit by 10 percent, from $534 billion to $590 billion, in its review.  The non-partisan agency attributes the deficit increase to lower-than-expected revenues.  In addition to lower revenues, costs have also risen.

The Taxpayers Before Insurers Act

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has written before about problems with the risk insurance sharing programs found in the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.  Under Obamacare, the risk-sharing programs, often called "the three Rs," are risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridors.

ATF Fails to Comply with Appropriations Act Restrictions

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) operates 25 firearms-related data systems, 16 of which contain purchaser information given to the ATF by federal firearms licensees (FFLs).

Copyright Office Details Problems with FCC Set-Top Box Proposal

On August 3, 2016, the Register of Copyrights sent a letter to four members of Congress, detailing potential copyright violations that could occur if the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed rulemaking on set-top boxes is implemented, requiring multi-channel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to provide access to content, video programming guides, and subscriber data to third parties.  The Copyright Office is concerned whether the FCC can meet its objective of promoting set-top box competition and

'Obamacare Premiums are Lower than You Think' ... NOT!

On July 21, the Health Affairs blog published a study by the Brookings Institute, entitled, “Obamacare Premiums Are Lower Than You Think.”  The study starts off stating, “Since the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance marketplaces first took effect in 2014, news story after story has focused on premium increases for certain plans, in certain cities, or for certain individuals.

IRS Undermines Congressional Budgeting

In a July 2016 report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could improve its budget data in its justifications to Congress.  The report found that the IRS, while it has taken steps to more effectively manage its budget, has not correlated its priorities to relevant appropriations accounts.  In its fiscal year 2017 justification, the IRS linked requests to priorities for increased funding, but failed to provide data on how much had been previously spent on each priority; as a result, t

Failure of PEPFAR in Africa: Abstain from Abstinence

The President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (PEPFAR) is an initiative started by then-President George W. Bush in 2003.  PEPFAR was design to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa by providing antiretroviral treatments to people in resource-limited settings.  According to a February 14, 2013 Foreign Policy article, the program is estimated to have saved million of lives in the last ten years.

Movement to Audit the Pentagon Gaining Speed

Consensus in the nation’s capital is rare.  Agreement between Republicans and Democrats is typically confined to a belief that Washington, D.C. is miserably hot this time of year, and therefore the summer Congressional recess should last as long as possible.  With the release of the official party platforms for 2016, another area of consensus has emerged: auditing the Pentagon.

Changing the Prescription for America’s Public Universities

It is much easier to take a pill than to overhaul a lifestyle.  The word “free” was the prescription offered by some in the presidential primaries to millennials in order to ease the crushing burden of skyrocketing student debt.  However, the problem with America’s public universities is not a lack of public funding. 

Some Are More Equal Than Others

More than a year ago, on June 25, 2015, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste along with nine other taxpayer advocacy groups and individuals, filed a complaint with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics.  We requested an investigation into whether Senators and/or their staff may have committed fraud and broke several laws when they submitted questionable applications in February, 2014 to the D.C.

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