|CAGW and CCAGW Score Major Victories against Government Waste in 2009!
CAGW Combats Stimulus Waste
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has played a major role in identifying and eliminating some of the worst wasteful spending under the so-called “economic stimulus” bill. Before passage, CAGW embarrassed Congress into removing some of the most objectionable special-interest handouts from the bill, such as a $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers, and CCAGW members sent more than 70,000 e-mails to Capitol Hill opposing the stimulus package. Since passage, CAGW has led the way in publicizing some of the most outrageous spending, like the more than 10,000 stimulus checks that the Social Security Administration sent to the deceased, including one individual who had been dead for 42 years! Read more about waste in the stimulus package.
Taxpayers Spared Costly Cap-and-Trade Energy Tax
The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste’s (CCAGW) lobbying and grassroots campaign helped derail passage of cap-and-trade energy legislation in the Senate this year — torpedoing a major goal of President Obama who had declared his intention to sign a cap-and-trade bill into law before year-end. The House version of cap-and-trade passed by a razor-thin margin of 219 to 212 in June after CCAGW members generated more than 22,500 e-mails and a slew of phone calls to their Representatives. Enactment of a cap-and-trade regime would cost an estimated 1 to 2.5 million jobs, slow economic growth, and drive up Americans’ energy bills. Estimates show the average family would face a $1,500 cap-and-trade energy tax annually. Read more about cap-and-trade.
Campaign to End ACORN’s Taxpayer Funding Bears Fruit
CCAGW conducted a grassroots and lobbying drive to end federal funding of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which is under investigation or has been indicted for fraud in 17 states for its questionable — and potentially criminal — activities. Both the U.S. Census Bureau and the IRS have now announced the termination of their partnerships with ACORN. Moreover, in September, the House of Representatives approved a motion that would cut off all federal funding for ACORN and its state affiliates, while the Senate voted to block funding for the group in the fiscal year 2010 Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act. Read more about CCAGW’s drive to end federal funding of ACORN.
CAGW Strikes Blow against Defense Boondoggle
CAGW launched a nationwide multimedia ad campaign last summer to alert taxpayers to $7.2 billion in wasteful spending on an alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). In addition, CAGW’s Policy Experts released an Issue Brief exposing the alternate engine as an unnecessary, special-interest project that members of Congress have kept alive with earmarks, despite the objections of both Presidents Bush and Obama and the Pentagon. CAGW’s educational efforts, combined with a CCAGW grassroots campaign, prompted more than 20,000 Americans to express opposition to the alternate engine. While the House has continued to fund the project, the Senate declined to authorize or appropriate any funding for the engine in fiscal year 2010. Read more about CAGW’s campaign to eliminate the JSF alternate engine.
End of F-22 Funding a “Treat” for Taxpayers
CAGW scored another victory against wasteful and outmoded defense programs this year when the House and Senate stripped $1.8 billion for the F-22 fighter jet from their fiscal 2010 defense spending bills. Designed to counter the Soviet threat, these aircraft have not been deployed at all in Iraq or Afghanistan. Read more about this taxpayer “treat.”
Jet-Setting Pols Grounded
CAGW stirred a firestorm of controversy that embarrassed House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha (D-Pa.) into pledging to yank $330 million in funding for four new corporate jets from the fiscal 2010 Defense Appropriations Act. The Pentagon had requested four jets at a cost of $220 million to ferry senior government officials, but House appropriators boosted the number of aircraft to eight at a total cost to taxpayers of $550 million, including a $132 million earmark for two Gulfstream jets to be based at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland — conveniently a short drive from the U.S. Capitol. Read more about the House’s high-flying money grab.
CAGW Receives Widespread Media Coverage in 2009
CAGW once again received widespread media coverage in 2009, with appearances on television, radio, and in newspapers and newsmagazines from coast-to-coast. From CAGW President Tom Schatz’s near weekly appearances on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and interviews with CAGW spokespersons on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “World News with Charles Gibson”; CBS’s “Evening News with Katie Couric”; CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” and “Situation Room”; FOX News Channel’s “FOX and Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “Live Desk with Martha and Trace”; and NBC’s “Nightly News with Brian Williams” to citations in The Chicago Tribune, National Journal, Politico, Reuters, Roll Call, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Washington Times, to name just a few, CAGW has again kept Washington’s runaway spending one of the top news stories in America.
And in the States…
CCAGW marshaled its grassroots activists to battle tax increase proposals in 10 states in 2009. CCAGW activists generated nearly 17,000 e-mails to their elected state officials and succeeded in blocking tax hikes in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, and Utah. A CCAGW grassroots campaign in Longmont, Colo. also led local voters to reject a ballot measure that would have directed the city to create a taxpayer-funded advanced telecommunications network to compete with the private sector.
In addition to these victories, CAGW published five of its widely heralded Piglet Books in Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, and Tennessee, generating numerous television, radio, and newspaper citations in those states. Among the absurd examples of state waste detailed in the Piglet Books: $11,900,000 for a new 55,000-sq. foot administrative building for 116 turnpike workers in Maine; $9 million for the “Party Bunker,” an underground entertainment facility buried in the front yard of the Governor’s Mansion in Tennessee; $4 million for a private golf club in Louisiana; and $875,000 to reconstruct a hiking trail that is now barred from public access in Hawaii.
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|December Porkers of the Month are…
Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Richard Shelby (R- Ala.).
Read more about the Porker of the Month.
Read more about the Pork Advisory System.
Give us your opinions and tips about government waste on The Swine Line!
Read the monthly newsletter online. This month’s issue includes the articles:
Weatherization: More Clouds on the Horizon
Time for a Constitutional Line Item Veto
National Lampoon’s European Vacation
|Tom Schatz on CNBC Tuesdays!
Watch for CAGW President Tom Schatz on the weekly “Pork Watch” segment of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” now airing every Tuesday at 6:50 a.m. EST. Please tune in! (All media appearances are subject to change.)
San Francisco Chronicle (December 21, 2009): “Billions in Earmarks Inflate Defense Bill’s Cost”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (December 15, 2009): “State’s Universities to Get Millions from Bill”
USA Today (December 14, 2009): “72-Passenger-a-Day Airport Gets $7.5M for Terminal”