WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released its 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 March edition of WasteWatcher are listed in part as follows:
House of Cards: Bringing Down the RAC Program
By Leslie Paige
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 dark fictional fantasy, some of its recurring themes of political gimmickry, backroom deals, and public pronouncements that bear no resemblance to what is happening behind the scenes might resonate with those watching how Congress and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are undermining a highly successful anti-government waste tool, the Recovery Audit Contractor program (RAC). Read the full story here.
Property Is Personal
By Deborah Collier
On February 26, 2015, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) held a briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss intellectual property (IP) rights, including copyrights, patents, brand recognition and trademarks. Speaking before a packed room in the Rayburn House Office Building, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) opened the event by discussing his plans to move forward with reforms on a series of intellectual property issues through a thoughtful, cooperative process that will involve all stakeholders. He specifically discussed the Innovation Act, which passed the House last Congress, and has been reintroduced in this Congress to help cut down on litigation by so-called “patent trolls.” Read the full story here.
v. Burwell: Judicial Branch Should Judge, Not Legislate
By Elizabeth Wright and Thomas Schatz
On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments to King v. Burwell. It is one of four lawsuits that challenge the IRS’s regulation that allows subsidies to assist people to purchase health insurance in Federally-facilitated Exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as ObamaCare. The plaintiffs argued that the plain language of the law only allows subsidies to assist people in an Exchange “established by a State” while the Obama administration is arguing the IRS was correct when it decided to provide subsidies for enrollees in both types of Exchanges. The Exchanges are the on-line marketplaces where people can shop and purchase health insurance. The Supreme Court heard the case because there have been conflicting rulings within the lower courts as to whether the IRS acted legally. Read the full story here.
By P.J. Austin
Based on all of the bloviating around Washington, D.C., about how sequestration is inflexible and unworkable, one would assume that the entire federal budget process is about to explode. In reality, the caps on federal discretionary spending are scheduled to increase every year through fiscal year (FY) 2021; just not by as much as some would like. Read the full story here.
Boondoggles: Streetcars (and Other Things) Lacking Desire
By William M. Christian
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. Read the full story here.
Cites Billions Left on the Chopping Block
By Curtis Kalin
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 exclaimed, “The cupboard is bare! There’s no more cuts to make!” Read the full story here.
CAGW is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.