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.


Surprising Republican Support for the Return of Earmarks

During a closed-door House Republican Conference meeting on November 14, 2014, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) proposed reinstituting earmarks for “state, locality (including county and city governments), or a public utility or other public entity.”  His effort had startlingly significant amount of support in the Republican caucus: the proposal was defeated by a vote of 145-67.  Rep. Rogers’ act netted him the dubious honor of being named Citizen Against Government Waste (CAGW)’s “Porker of the Month” for November 2014.  Rep. Rogers is a repeat offender, also earning the award in April 2012, after his first failed attempt to end the earmark ban on March 30, 2012.

USPS Labor Woes: A Greek Tragedy

In the myth of Sisyphus, the protagonist angers the gods so much that they condemn him to spend eternity fruitlessly rolling a weighty boulder up a steep hill.  This turns out to be an apt description of the fate of labor costs at the fiscally stressed United States Postal Service (USPS).

Net Neutrality Strikes Back

During the first week following its release on November 28, more than 42 million people had watched the trailer for “Star Wars VII – The Force Awakens.”  It was a reminder that every time it appears either the Empire or the Republic are defeated, the vanquished side rises with renewed energy.  Fittingly, the trailer appeared two weeks after a concept that seemed to be moribund rose from the dead to threaten the very existence of the Internet when President Obama announced on November 10 his support for broadband service to be reclassifi

New Study Shines Light on CFPB’s Discrimination Claims

As Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has previously pointed out, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is in the midst of a war against the auto financing industry.  In March 2013, the agency issued guidance, stating that auto finance sources would be held accountable for alleged discriminatory loan pricing occurring through a practice known as dealer reserve.  However, a study released on November 19, 2014 concludes that CFPB’s method to determine instances of discrimination is flawed.

The Government Slumlord

It is no secret that the federal government has too much real property.  Plainly put, Uncle Sam is one extremely disorganized landlord that likes to purchase, lease, and hoard large amounts of costly real estate.  And as with most operations left to languish at the hands of bureaucrats, the business is terribly wrought with mismanagement and a serious lack of transparency. 

Jonathan Gruber Goes to Washington

Most of you know about Jonathan Gruber. He is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) economics professor that was hired as a consultant by the Obama administration to provide guidance on designing ObamaCare. He has often been called the “architect” of ObamaCare. What was his consulting fee just from the Department of Health and Human Services? A mere $400,000.

Newt's Very Bad Idea

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich often comes up with ideas to change how the government works.  One of his most recent suggestions has made a lot of people who care about property rights scratch their head.

USPS In-APPtitude on Display

Sometimes, when it comes to grAPPling with the overarching, mind-numbing problem of trillions in government waste across all federal agencies, it's the little vignettes that really illustrate and crystallize the larger story.

And so it goes with the newest mis-hAPP unveiled by the United States Postal Service and reviewed by a reporter for Popular Mechanics:

Who's the Obstructionist?

While I tend to write mostly about healthcare issues, a November 27 article from Investor’s Business Daily, entitled “Obama Taking Hard Line, Blows Up Bipartisan Tax Deal,” provides a brief look into what the next two years will be like.  Says Investor’s: The White House move this week to torpedo a deal between House Republicans and Senate Democrats to extend dozens of expiring tax breaks suggests that the executive action legalizing 5 million u

MR. GRUBER – COME ON DOWN!

On November 20, 2014, Chairman Darrel Issa of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sent letters to Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Director Marilyn Tavenner and Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) professor Jonathan Gruber asking them to testify before his committee on December 9 at 9:30 AM.  The topic: to examine

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