“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)."

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

Providing Relief from Internet Taxes

By Deborah Collier
WasteWatcher, April 2015

On July 15, 2014, the House of Representatives passed the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, which would have made the moratorium on taxes for Internet access permanent.  Unfortunately, because of legislative wrangling in the Senate, the bill failed to become law.

In 1998, the Internet Tax Freedom Act placed a moratorium... more

Senator Reid Out, Yucca Mountain In?

By P.J. Austin
WasteWatcher, April 2015

On March 27, 2015, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced that he will not seek reelection in 2016.  Supporters of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository hope that the exit of one of its most powerful opponents will breathe new life into the long-stalled project.

The U.S. has been searching for a long-term... more

GAO Cites Billions Left on the Chopping Block

By Curtis Kalin
WasteWatcher, March 2015

The prevailing wisdom inside the Beltway and especially among big-government politicians and bureaucrats is one that was espoused by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in 2013.  Flummoxed by a reporter’s question on budget cuts, she literally threw up her hands and... more

Transportation Boondoggles: Streetcars (and Other Things) Lacking Desire

By William M. Christian
WasteWatcher, March 2015

The road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but in the “DMV” (not the Department of Motor Vehicles, but a local acronym describing the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia), it is lined with ill-conceived transit projects, some of which are being given greater scrutiny by chastened elected leaders.

In the... more

Medicare House of Cards: Bringing Down the RAC Program

By Leslie Paige
WasteWatcher, March 2015

All of Washington, D.C., as well as the rest of the country, has been binging on the third season of the wildly popular Netflix original series “House of Cards,” the sordid tale of Washington politicians who will stop at nothing to bend the power structure to their will in order to gain power, prestige, and money. While the program is a... more