Thursday, August 13, 2015

CAGW Releases August 2015 WasteWatcher

Washington August 13, 2015 - Today Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released its August WasteWatcher, a monthly dispatch to members of the news media, highlighting some of the most prominent fiscal issues affecting American taxpayers. The stories from its August edition of WasteWatcher are listed in part as follows:
“that will cost money. They will pass that money onto consumers.”
Five Free-Wheeling Follies of the Federal Housing Administration: What Taxpayers Need to Know
By William M. Christian
It is very interesting how swiftly Washington can move when taxpayers aren’t “in the know.” On January 9, 2015, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced a 37 percent reduction in annual mortgage insurance premiums (down 50 basis points from 1.35 percent to .85 percent), notwithstanding the concerns expressed by members of Congress and fiscal policy experts. Read the full story here.
Obama’s Clean Power Plan: All Pain, No gain
By Curtis Kalin
During a January 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, then-Senator Barack Obama remarked that under his ideal energy plan, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” He further noted that by capping greenhouse gasses, producers of energies like coal would need to make vast changes and, “that will cost money. They will pass that money onto consumers.” On August 3, 2015, President Obama unveiled a clean energy proposal that appears to have delivered on those campaign promises. Read the full story here.
A Billion Here – A Billion There
By Elizabeth Wright
The Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, has chucked more money down the memory hole than Agent J’s Neuralyzer in Men in Black. More than $5.3 billion has been doled out to 48 states and the District of Columbia, ranging from planning grants to establishment grants by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to create state-based online exchanges. Read the full story here.
F-35 Approved for Combat, Problems Persist
By Sean Kennedy
The acquisition misadventures of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program have been well-documented. In development for nearly 15 years and four years behind schedule, the program is currently projected to cost $391.1 billion for 2,457 aircraft, or 68 percent more than its original estimate of $233 billion. Read the full story here.
The Rural Broadband Boondoggle
By Deborah Collier
In the 2009 stimulus bill, Congress allocated $2.5 billion to the Rural Utilities Service to fund its Broadband Initiatives Program, all of which was supposed to be spent by the end of June 2015. This was a massive influx of money for a small agency whose previous annual average budget for broadband programs was approximately $290 million in direct loans and grants. Read the full story here.
Changing the Culture of Wasteful Spending
By Dean W. Sinclair
Otherwise honest and dedicated federal workers consistently make these egregiously wasteful spending decisions. These are people who are committed to defending our nation, promoting our interests worldwide, and working tirelessly to manage the massive federal government. When given the decision to waste money at the end of the fiscal year or return it to the Treasury, these loyal Americans will always choose to waste the money. Read the full story here.
CCAGW’s Congressional Ratings: A Recap of 2014 and the 2016 Presidential Candidates
By William M. Christian
On July 30, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, released its 2014 Congressional Ratings, highlighting the voting records of all 535 members of Congress. The ratings, which CCAGW has issued annually since 1990, identify which members of Congress voted to protect and save the taxpayers’ money, as well as those who consistently voted against their interests on spending and taxes. Read the full story here.
Ohio Checkbook Shows How Transparency is Supposed to Work
By Curtis Kalin
It is often said that “sunlight is the best disinfectant” for the government. Informing citizens about how bureaucrats spend their money will help to ensure that it will be spent wisely. No effort has exemplified this principle more succinctly and comprehensively than the initiative undertaken by Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. Read the full story here.
CAGW is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

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