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.




Social Security Reform: Time to Go Big

Among the rules adopted by the House of Representatives is a new provision that bars the transfer of money between the Social Security old age and survivors insurance (OASI) trust fund and the disability insurance (DI) trust fund.  Congress has authorized 11 transfers from OASI to DI in order to temporarily patch the DI trust fund.  In 1994, the last time that DI was on the verge of going broke, Congress reallocated 0.6 percentage points of the payroll tax from OASI to the DI program.  The rule change prevents another temporary fix from occurring and provides a significant opportunity for Congress to adopt reforms in order to help ensure the future solvency of both programs.

CAGW Reaction to SOTU 2015: The President Is in an Alternate Universe

The President’s State of the Union Address would have made a good episode of “The Twilight Zone.” In "The Obama Zone," the following is true, because he either never mentioned the subject matter or failed to properly state the facts...

Sequestration-sensitive Pentagon Misses $145M in Improper Payments

Not all improper payments are fraudulent (inadvertent expenditures are all too common in the federal government, but many are “honest mistakes” without nefarious intent), but all fraud should be considered improper.

Municipal Broadband Proposal Seeks to Overturn State Laws

The President continued his preview of the State of the Union address on January 14, 2015 by announcing that among the top priorities for this year will be “removing barriers” for faster Internet speeds.

To Market, To Market - First U.S. Biosimilar On Its Way

On Wednesday, January 7, 2015, I attended the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee meeting that discussed and recommended approval of the first biosimilar drug, called filgrastim, under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCI).

Put a Fork In It: Why Taxpayers are Fed Up with Pork-Barrel Spending

For 16 years, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu fed her constituents powerful promises of pork – pork barrel spending that is. Fortunately for taxpayers, the results of the December 6, 2014 Senate run-off race stifled any of Landrieu’s future attempts at bringing home the bacon, and eliminated the dangerous implications that Landrieu’s fiscal negligence could have further imposed.

114th Congress: The New Sheriff(s) in Town

Unlike the United States Senate, control of the House of Representatives did not change as a result of the November 4, 2014 elections.  However, the Republican majority did expand to at least 244 members, its highest level since the 1928 elections.  Two seats in Louisiana will be decided by a December 6, 2014 runoff election, while the 2nd Congressional District of Arizona is the subject of a mandatory recount, with Republican Martha McSally slightly ahead of incumbent Democrat Ron Barber.

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

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