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.


Maryland's Boondoggle Inn

By Andrew Nehring

WasteWatcher, April 2017

Pharmaceutical Transparency Legislation – Sounds Good but Foolhardy

Legislation to create “transparency” in drug costs has been introduced in dozens of state legislatures across the country, purportedly to understand how prescription drugs are priced.  While details vary from state to state, all the bills would require pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide reams of pricing and cost data, much of it proprietary, to state officials.  Often the bills will drag in other private-sector entities involved in pharmaceutical pricing negotiations, such as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and insurers.

New Bill Opens Discussion on Music Rights

On April 5, 2017, Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) introduced H.R. 1914, the Performance Royalty Owners of Music Opportunity To Earn Act of 2017 (PROMOTE Act).  This legislation would grant sound recording copyright owners the exclusive right to prohibit the broadcast transmission of sound recordings by means of terrestrial radio stations.

Waste Abounds in the Land of the Midnight Sun

On Wednesday, April 5, 2017 the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a hearing to consider the construction of a road linking the town of King Cove to Cold Bay, and the latter’s all-weather airport.  At issue is H.R.

Big Pharma DOES Negotiate Drug Prices

On March 7, 2017, President Trump tweeted he was "working on a new system where there will be competition in the Drug Industry.  Pricing for the American people will come way down."  The next day, in a meeting with Representatives Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) , the president reiterated that he wanted to do something about U.S.

Restoring State Authority for Lifeline

In another sign of better times for taxpayers and consumers at the Federal Communications Commission, Chairman Ajit Pai is taking steps to address jurisdictional problems created by his predecessor, Tom Wheeler, regarding the Lifeline program. Citizens Against Government Waste has long reported on problems with the program, which is supposed to provide low-income households with subsidized telephone services and wireless services.

The Sky Is Clearing, Not Falling, on Internet Privacy

The hysteria and hyperbole about online privacy needs to stop following House passage of S. J. Res. 34, which invoked the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to rescind the Federal Communications Commission’s Privacy Order.

Obamacare Still Vulnerable to Fraud

By Curtis Kalin

Wastewatcher, March 2017

Even before Congress failed to pass a repeal and replacement for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), a November 2016 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report again exposed rampant and systematic fraud in the application process.

America First, Duplicative Programs Last

By Rachel Cole

WasteWatcher, March 2017

On March 16, 2017, the White House released its budget, “America First – A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.”  This “skinny budget” increases spending for defense by $54 billion and cuts an equal amount of money for duplicative and wasteful programs.  The budget calls also cuts burdensome regulations and calls for better management of federal programs. 

CFP-Bane: Warding Off the Unconstitutional CFPB

By William M. Christian

WasteWatcher, March 2017

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been, since its inception as the brainchild of then-Harvard professor and now Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the nanny state bane of conservatives and free-market champions.

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