“And that's why the work of CAGW is so vital - vital in the battle against budget deficits and vital to the strength and resiliency of the democratic system and public confidence in our government.” - Ronald Reagan


What is Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)?

CAGW is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization representing more than one million members and supporters nationwide. Since its founding in 1984, CAGW has earned a reputation as America's premier taxpayer watchdog organization for exposing countless examples of government waste and safeguarding the interests of taxpayers in Washington.

What is CAGW's mission?

CAGW's mission is to eliminate waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement in the federal government.

What is CAGW famous for?

CAGW's most famous publication is the annual Congressional Pig Book Summary an exposé that names the names of pork-barrel politicians and their pet projects. 

Other publications include the annual Congressional Ratings, created by CAGW's lobbying arm, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste. The Ratings evaluate the voting records of each member of Congress on key tax and spending issues.

is the group's quarterly newsletter, which is distributed to members of CAGW, Congress, and members of the media nationwide.

Prime Cuts is a comprehensive catalog of federal programs in need of reform and elimination.

Through the Looking Glass Investigative Reports put government spending under the microscope.

Government WasteWatch is CAGW's monthly dispatch to members of the news media. Culled from dense General Accounting Office reports, obscure news items, and the occasional account of a whistleblower, WasteWatcher's stories capture headlines by transforming the dry matter of federal financial management into tales of government ineptitude. 

How was CAGW founded?

Founded in 1984 by the late businessman J. Peter Grace and late syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, CAGW is the follow-on organization to President Ronald Reagan's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, also known as the Grace Commission.  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 throughout the federal government.  Funded entirely by voluntary contributions of $76 million from the private sector, the search 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 constitute a vision of an efficient, well-managed government that is accountable to taxpayers. CAGW has worked to make that vision a reality and, in 25 years, has helped save taxpayers $1.04 trillion through the implementation of Grace Commission findings and other recommendations.

How is CAGW funded?

CAGW does not accept government funds. The vast majority of the organization's funding comes from individual contributors around the nation.  For a more detailed itemization of CAGW's funding, visit the Financial Information page. 

What is pork-barrel spending?

In conjunction with the bipartisan Congressional Porkbusters Coalition, CAGW has developed seven criteria for identifying pork-barrel spending. All of the items in the Congressional Pig Book Summary meet at least one of CAGW's seven criteria, but most satisfy at least two:

  • Requested by only one chamber of Congress;
  • Not specifically authorized;
  • Not competitively awarded;
  • Not requested by the President;
  • Greatly exceeds the President's budget request or the previous year's funding;
  • Not the subject of congressional hearings; or,
  • Serves only a local or special interest. 

How Do I become a Member of CAGW?

To join CAGW, make a contribution using our secure form or by sending in your contribution with our Mail-in Form. For more information about the organization please contact us or call us, 1-800-BE-ANGRY.