The WasteWatcher | Page 135 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste
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.




Staying Healthy by Eliminating Waste

When President Bush announced the beginning of the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) during his 2003 State of the Union speech, the five-year, $15 billion measure was announced as “the largest commitment ever by any nation for an international health initiative dedicated to a single disease.”  Targeting 15 “focus countries,” most of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, the plan embraced a three-pronged strategy based around prevention, treatment and care.

Caution: Porkers at Work

While summer has almost come to an end, the only appropriations bill that has come to a full vote in either chamber of Congress this year is the Military Construction-VA spending bill (H.R. 6599).  The action taken on this bill, however, offers a preview of what taxpayers can expect with the eleven remaining spending bills.

Special Interests Before Taxpayers

For many years, the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General have issued report after report pointing out that Medicare pays too much for durable medical equipment (DME).  DME includes walkers, wheelchairs, and portable oxygen equipment.  Unfortunately for taxpayers, Medicare’s fee schedule is not based on competitive market prices.

GSE Monster Mash-up

On Friday, July 11, the nation’s two largest housing government-sponsored enterprises (GSE), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, began a precipitous stock slide that stirred a mini-panic on Wall Street and among government officials.  There was a frantic bid to craft a government rescue plan over the weekend.  On Monday, federal officials rushed to the nearest open microphone to reassure the nation that these mortgage behemoths were in no real danger of going belly up.

Appropriations Gone Awry

Traditionally, summer is appropriations season on Capitol Hill. The core twelve spending bills – Agriculture; Commerce/Justice/Science; Defense; Energy & Water; Financial Services; Homeland Security; Interior & Environment; Labor/HHS/Education; Legislative Branch; Military Construction/Veterans Affairs; State/Foreign Operations; and Transportation/Housing & Urban Development – usually have worked their way through the legislative process, and have been signed by the President.

Earmark Disclosure: Slow but Steady

“Will you disclose the earmarks that you have requested, Representative?"

Deadly Earmarks

Earmarks can be deadly, according to Air Force Reserve Maj. Eric Egland.  Egland, a counter-terrorism operative, military intelligence officer and Iraq War veteran, wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Times on July 2 asserting that national security earmarks are being abused, with disastrous consequences.

Spratt Flip-Flops on Line-Item Veto

Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.) chose politics over pork-busting when he switched his vote on the line-item veto bill in June.  The ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee dutifully followed the partisan orders of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to vote against any Republican budget reform, even one that is proven to save taxpayer money and that Spratt had been a high-profile sponsor of in the past.

“Emergency” Supplementals

“Hope for the best, but plan for the worst” is the approach most Americans try to take when it comes to setting aside funds for a rainy day.  For the government, however, national emergencies, and the supplemental appropriations bills that tend to accompany these emergencies, have become just another excuse to spend money on non-emergency, routine projects and favored pork-barrel items that failed to win funding through the normal appropriations process.

Federal Government – The Ideal Tenant?

Apparently, the federal government has an aversion to commitment, at least in terms of property.  According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released on January 24, 2008, for the first time in history the federal government is predicted to lease more property than it owns.  Based upon information gathered from the General Services Administration (GSA), which handles many of the government’s leases, from 2003 to 2006, federally-leased space increased from 160 million square feet to 172 million square feet; conversely, federally-owned space decreased from 180 million square feet to 174 million square feet.

Pages

Tired of the Government wasting your Tax Dollars? Take Action Here! (800) BE-ANGRY

View Archives

Posts by Author

Posts by Tag

Big Government (152) Obamacare (85) Congress (84) Healthcare (76) Budget (76) Waste (75) Uncategorized (56) Telecommunications (50) Internet (49) Debt (47) Technology (47) Deficit (44)