“CAGW members are an iconoclastic bunch skeptical about politicians' promises.” - National Journal


WasteWatcher 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 captured headlines by transforming the dry matter of federal financial management into side-splitting -- albeit infuriating -- tales of government ineptitude.

The North Carolina Winston-Salem Journal said of WasteWatcher that it is "a monthly publication that probably deserves wider dissemination than it gets...even heavily discounted to allow for the ax CAGW is grinding, the news from its reports is high in shock value and humor (of the gallows variety)."

Almost Everything is Genetically Modified

WasteWatcher May 2015

By Elizabeth Wright


According to a September 2014 Smithsonian article written by David Newland, “Sorry Hipsters, That Organic Kale is a Genetically Modified Food,” most of the food we eat today is not natural.  “... more

Focusing on Music Copyright for World IP Day

WasteWatcher, May 2015

By Deborah Collier

On April 26, 2015, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) marked World Intellectual Property Day.  The theme was “Get Up, Stand Up.  For Music,” which was intended to highlight the contributions of musical artists around the world and encourage the... more

DOE’s Green Loan Programs Waste More Green than They Create

WasteWatcher, May 2015

By Curtis Kalin

A decade after the creation of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) first program to stimulate green energy projects, the concept is projected to lose more money than it receives, leaving taxpayers holding the reusable cloth bag.

DOE’s loan programs were authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security... more

Trade Promotion: When Authority Is Tempered by Accountability

WasteWatcher, May 2015

By William M. Christian

In the semantics of “fast track” legislation related to trade agreements, words matter.  Historically referred to as “trade promotion authority” (TPA), the bill currently being considered by the Senate first and then the House establishes the parameters within which a president can negotiate a treaty with other nations.  In exchange... more

Spending Caps: To Bust or Not To Bust?

WasteWatcher, May 2015

By P.J. Austin

On May 5, 2015, the Senate followed the House’s lead and voted 51-48 to approve the conference report accompanying the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Budget Resolution.  In other words, Congress did its job and passed a joint budget plan for the first time since 2009.

While this is a welcome change from many years during which Congress... more

EPA: The Intersection of Invasive and Inefficient

WasteWatcher, April 2015

By Curtis Kalin

There is no shortage of government agencies that fritter away hard-earned tax dollars by imposing hostile rules and regulations on businesses and individuals.  But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has practically cornered the market on invasiveness and inefficiency.

A March 16, 2015 EPA Inspector General (IG)... more

Identity Crisis at the USPS

By Leslie K. Paige
WasteWatcher, April 2015

On Wednesday, April 7, 2015, the United States Postal Service (USPS) unveiled its newest postage stamp, a commemorative tribute to the renowned and beloved poet and writer, Maya Angelou.  The celebration attracted First Lady Michelle Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Oprah Winfrey, who is an Angelou mega-fan. ... more

A Budget Reconciliation Primer: No Peaches & Herb

By William M. Christian
WasteWatcher, April 2015

The term “reconciliation” tends to evoke feelings of rapprochement and reunion.  But unlike Peaches & Herb’s 1979 chart-topping hit, “Reunited (and it Feels So Good),” reconciliation has no romantic meaning when it pertains to the Federal budget.

In the history of the republic, budget reconciliation is a relatively... more

End the Pentagon Slush Fund

By Sean Kennedy
WasteWatcher, April 2015

Created in 2001 to fund the war in Afghanistan and other associated costs of the Global War on Terror, the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account was intended to be a one-time emergency supplemental.  Instead, it has been used as an annual funding measure, including in 2003, when the U.S. invaded Iraq.

Over time, the... more

CO-OPs: Another ObamaCare Catastrophe

By Elizabeth Wright
WasteWatcher April 2015

On March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as ObamaCare, was signed into law.  By the end of 2013, millions of Americans had lost the healthcare plan they liked and were forced to accept health insurance plans with mandated benefits they did not need or want.  Their... more