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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.




Pentagon’s Travel System Still Grounded

There are a lot of reasons to complain about air travel:  overbooking, rising costs, delays, cancellations, uncomfortable seats, and rude passengers, among others.  With all of these hassles, travelers do have a plethora of online travel services to try and obtain the cheapest flight.  With the immense of amount of travel undertaken by the federal government and especially the Department of Defense, an online travel system sounds like a marriage made in heaven.  Unfortunately, combining logic and the federal government is as easy as putting a square peg in a round hole.

What’s In Your Wallet? Free Goodies Courtesy of Taxpayers

In an audit of federal employees’ use of credit cards, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found some shocking charges with a debatable relationship to necessary costs.  For example, during more than 15 consecutive months between 2004 and 2006, a U.S. postmaster charged $1,100 to two Internet dating services, and faced no disciplinary action for the fraudulent transactions.  For nearly six years, a Department of Agriculture employee charged more than $642,000 to her government account, covering expenses ranging from car loans to gambling. 

Coconut Road Outrage

An update on the ongoing drama associated with what CAGW has dubbed “the immaculate earmark.”

Fill’er Up with Politics

The Air Force refueling tanker saga started with a provision added to the fiscal 2002 Defense Appropriations Act directing the Air Force to lease 100 Boeing 767’s for new fuel tankers.  It was not only one of the worst examples of corporate welfare, this no-bid lease also ballooned into a major scandal.  Eventually, the Air Force’s chief negotiator on the tanker contract and Boeing’s number-two corporate officer went to jail and Boeing was fined more than $600 million.

Home, Home on the Range, Where the Big Railroad Companies Graze Or South Dakotans Should Choo Choo Choose Their Own Destiny

When one thinks of western South Dakota, one imagines sweeping vistas and beautiful ranches.  However, the Dakota, Minnesota, & Eastern Railroad (DM&E) is threatening to grab massive swaths of this beautiful private land in western South Dakota to build 120 miles of new rail line.

Three Coins in a Fountain

When one tosses a coin into a fountain it is customary to make a wish. The wish could be as substantial as, “I wish for the winning numbers to the lottery,” or it could be as elusive as “I wish for cancer to be cured.”  Until the budget for the fiscal year of 2009 was drafted, never before has a wish dictated the potential use of the discarded currency.

Murtha Named Porker of the Year

After weeks of voting, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) announced the final results of its online poll for the 2007 Porker of the Year.  Rep. John “Jack” Murtha (D-Pa.) won in a landslide victory.  The veteran porker received 63.4 percent of the vote.  A distant second, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) received 10.6 percent, while Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) came in with 9.9 percent, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) had 6.7 percent, and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) both finished up with 4.1 percent.  The finalists were chosen by CAGW staff from among the 12 Porker of the Month winners for 2007.

Rep. Young Squeals at Nomination

Porker of the Year 2007 candidate Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) took offense to his nomination and wrote a spirited yet outlandish response to CAGW President Tom Schatz defending his pork.

Moran-ic Statements

Rep. James “Jim” Moran (D-Va.), a member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, has threatened to play politics with the defense bill following President Bush’s promise to veto any bill that does not cut the cost and number of earmarks in half.  “Defense is the only bill where we’re going to give him anything he wants. And because that’s the one he wants, it’ll be full of earmarks and he’s not going to issue a peep about that,” Moran said, according to CQ Today on January 29, 2008, the day after President Bush issued the veto threat during the State of the Union address.

Binging On Taxpayer Dollars

The over-indulgent, over-zealous party attendee can certainly be an obnoxious component of any weekend celebration.  This individual is often referred to as That Guy.

The societal pressures on a returning serviceman can, at times, be overwhelming.  However, when the Department of Defense (DoD), as reported by the American Forces Press Service on January 27, 2005, tries to curb these pressures with a $13 million program called TRICARE that purports to give them the “tools” to make healthy adjustments to their potentially unruly behavior, one cannot help but question its usefulness.  The website ThatGuy.com is one such attempt.

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