Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization representing more than one million members and supporters nationwide. CAGW's mission is to eliminate waste, mismanagement, and inefficiency in the federal government. Founded in 1984 by the late industrialist J. Peter Grace and syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, CAGW is the legacy of the President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, also known as the Grace Commission.
The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) is the lobbying arm of CAGW. The CCAGW mission is to advocate the elimination of waste and inefficiency in government through nonpartisan public education programs and lobbying activities. Each year, CCAGW tabulates its Congressional Ratings, evaluating how each member of Congress measures up on key tax and spending votes.
In 1982, President Reagan directed the Grace Commission to "work like tireless bloodhounds to root out government inefficiency and waste of tax dollars." For two years, 161 corporate executives and community leaders led an army of 2,000 volunteers on a waste hunt through the federal government. The search was funded entirely by voluntary contributions of $76 million from the private sector; it cost taxpayers nothing. The Grace Commission made 2,478 recommendations which, if implemented, would save $424.4 billion over three years, an average of $141.5 billion a year all without eliminating essential services.
The 47 volumes and 21,000 pages of the Grace Commission Report constituted a vision of an efficient, well-managed government that is accountable to the taxpayers. CAGW has worked to make that vision a reality and, in a little over two decades, has helped save taxpayers $1.04 trillion through the implementation of Grace Commission findings and other recommendations.
Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole has stated, "CAGW researches and identifies the most blatant waste in government and shows how it can be eliminated. CAGW has a long and successful record of winning major cuts in wasteful spending without sacrificing America's defenses."
House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Christopher Cox (R-Calif.) went even further: "CAGW has fought side-by-side with us for welfare reform and massive cuts in wasteful spending to shrink the size of government and the deficit." Rep. Cox called CAGW "the premier waste-fighting organization in America."
CAGW's membership has grown from 5,000 members in February 1988 to more than one million members and supporters today. This phenomenal growth is the result of taxpayers' increasing frustration with the squandering of their hard-earned money in the nation's capital.
CAGW is nationally recognized as the source of information on government waste. CAGW representatives appear frequently on television, radio talk shows, and in print.
CAGW produces numerous publications highlighting wasteful government spending. Government WasteWatch is the group's newspaper, which is distributed to members of CAGW, Congress, and members of the media nationwide. The annual Congressional Pig Book Summary is CAGW's famous exposé of the most glaring and irresponsible pork-barrel projects in the 13 annual appropriations bills and their sponsors.