The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

The WasteWatcher

The WasteWatcher 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.




Rep. Boyda Imprisons Taxpayer Money for Museum

Rep. Nancy Boyda (D-Kansas) deserves to “do some time” for her theft from the taxpayers of $100,000 for an egregious earmark she added to the 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act.  The Kansas Regional Prisons Museum is set to receive the money to establish a site dedicated to the state’s historical and infamous penitentiaries and prisoners.

Michigan’s Bold iPod Plan

Michigan’s budget deficit recently surpassed the $1 billion dollar mark.  With tax revenues being steady, the only conceivable reason for the budget deficit is out-of-control spending.  On April 5, Michigan House Democrats issued an education plan that would purchase an MP3 Player or iPod for every Michigan public school child. 

Solar Wall Symbolizes Failed Energy Policies

Congress and President Bush may revive a plan to build a giant solar panel system on the headquarters of the Department of Energy (DoE).  Intended to symbolize the government’s commitment to clean energy, the so-called “sun wall” instead shines a light on the government’s commitment to wasting tax dollars.

Deval Patrick's Pork-Barrel Politics

When Governor Deval Patrick (D-Mass.) campaigned for the office, he pledged to change Beacon Hill’s “politics as usual.”  Unfortunately for the taxpayers of Massachusetts, his three month term has been anything but. 

Tis the Season for Government Negligence

When the government tries to play Santa Claus, bad things happen.  The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) allows certain charitable organizations exclusive access to federal workplaces to solicit contributions from employees.  The contributions can be made by cash or check or deducted from the employees’ paychecks.  In 2005, federal workers gave more than $260 million to more than 20,000 charities.  However, a large sum of that money goes to tax delinquent charities, also known as tax cheats. 

Bioterrorism Spending

After the 9/11 attacks and the deaths of five people exposed to anthrax spores sent through the mail in 2001, the federal government began pouring billions of dollars into biodefense research and development.  However, throwing money at a problem does not guarantee a solution; there must be proper follow-through and oversight to make sure the money is spent wisely. 

Abstinence of Logic

Abstinence education is not just for teenagers anymore.

In a strange shift in guidelines for grant awards, the government’s official message of no sex prior to marriage will be directed at single individuals up to 29 years old.  Hypothetically, this means a recently divorced man or woman weeks shy of their 30th birthday is now a target for taxpayer-funded, abstinence-only education.  This will be official policy starting in fiscal year 2007. 

Bridge to Nowhere Update

Even though the Bridge to Nowhere has gone nowhere fast since Congress stripped it of its federal earmark, outgoing Governor Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska) is still trying to keep the project alive. 

Like Father… Like Son?

For the past six years, Sen. Ted Stevens’ (R-Alaska) has put Alaska at the top of CAGW’s pork per capita list.  In 2006 alone, he secured a whopping $325 million in pork, or $489 per Alaskan resident.  Recent news reports show that his son, Ben Stevens, is trying to follow in his daddy’s profligate footsteps.

FEMA and Trading Spaces

When a participant goes on the popular Learning Channel show Trading Spaces, they have two days to redesign a room in the home of a friend or family member.  They must remain under budget throughout the process.  Conversely, when FEMA decides to remodel, it tends to extend projects indefinitely and ignore budget limitations.  Nonetheless, fans of the home improvement show might still enjoy FEMA’s project along the Gulf Coast.

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