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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.




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. 

Budget Showdown in Georgia

Unless they get their act together, House Republicans in Georgia could lose their power just as fast as they acquired it.  After 130 years of Democratic dominance in the state legislature, a Republican majority was elected in 2006, but the members have not followed through on campaign promises.

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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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