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    CAGW—Citizens Against Government Waste

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    By Sigrid Weidenweber

    Most of us have heard, many times, how government institutions and offices have wasted and, yes, allowed larcenous people to defraud Medicare, Welfare, Social Security, Healthcare and any other number of government-administered programs. Add to that the waste occurring in the military, in Congress and any other program funded with taxpayer money and the aggregate amount is large enough to bring tears to taxpayer’s eyes.

    To provide education and document this kind of abuse, concerned citizens united, and formed CAGW. As the new congress started work CAGW, too, went to work and analyzed funding proposals pending. Their team announced the critical waste issues needing the 116th Congress attention and resolution. 18 policy issues were pointed out for Congress to address immediately, for the nation’s debt has topped $22 trillions. The Congressional Budget Office predicts “significant negative consequences for the economy and the federal budget,” if Congress does not restrain chronic overspending, and prioritize budget reforms to help resolve America’s fiscal woes.

    CAGW mentions an urgent need to cut and streamline overlapping and duplicate programs, which are already well documented by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) since 2011. In its 2012 annual report GAO identified 209 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs that were funded with $3.1 billion. However, despite the flux of money, US students still lag behind high technology nations in math and science.

    Once again government tries to solve a problem with money without evaluating the effectiveness of the programs already in existence. Congress does not have regulators overseeing which programs work and which are failing—spending tax-payer money uselessly—just to evoke the perception that something has been achieved.

    To avoid another partial government shut down a $333 billion spending bill was “cobbled together.”

    It contains many bon bons, way past what is needed to run the government, containing items like $550millions for rural broadband in addition to the $600 million already contained in December’s Farm bill for that purpose.

    CAGW rewards Senators who spend lavishly without regard for tax-payer’s pain with a Porker of the Year award. The 2018 Porker of the Year award went to Senator Kamala Harris (D. Calif.) She won this prestigious award with 38% of the vote for proposing a bill, creating a new taxpayer funded rent subsidy. Harris’ “Rent Relief Act,” would provide a new refundable tax credit for rent payments greater than 30% of an individual’s gross income of $100,000 or less. Conservative estimations put the price for this subsidy at $76 billion per year. This scheme would incentivize renters to lease the most expensive apartments, while landlords would be encouraged to spike rents, because the taxpayer would pay all.

    Why is this so easily discernible logic not clear to Ms. Harris? Perhaps because she has only lived in the lofty realm of academia and politics.

    By the way, the number two Poker Award went to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D. Md.).

     Sigrid Weidenweber grew up in communist East Berlin, escaping it using a French passport. Ms. Weidenweber holds a degree in medical technology as well as psychology and has course work in Anthropology.  She is co-founder of Aid for Afghans.  Weidenweber has traveled the world and lived with Pakistani Muslims, learning about the culture and religion. She is a published author and lecturer. You can find her books on Amazon.com

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