The novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has moved fast, growing into both a health and economic crisis in the U.S. Amid calls for stimulus packages, bailouts, and legislation, where is the money going? TCS has seen this movie before — just after 9/11, during the 2008 financial crisis, in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, and in the 2017 hurricane season after Maria, Harvey, Irma and more. We’re building a tracker and following the money. Follow along.

There are three ways to follow along – by issue area, a hyperlinked timeline, or a reverse chronological blog feed with most recent content first.


January 10, 2022

Letter: TCS Voices Concerns Over Potential $68 Billion COVID Relief Bill

September 7, 2021

Quick Take: Fueled by COVID-19, Agriculture Subsidies Reached Record High in 2020

March 26, 2021

Weekly Wastebasket: Overtaxed Agency

March 25, 2021

Quick Take: USDA Announces $14 billion in Pandemic Assistance

Analysis: COVID-19 and Agricultural Income Subsidies

March 19, 2021

In The News — Politifact: No, COVID-19 relief law doesn’t give federal workers a $21,000 bonus

March 9, 2021

Quick Take: $2 Trillion For What?

March 5, 2021

Weekly Wastebasket: COVID Relief and Common Sense Principles, the Sequel

Quick Take: Budget Watchdog AF, Episode 2 – HR22, American Rescue Plan Act 2021, and more

March 3, 2021

Analysis: Vaccines and Contact Tracing

Analysis: Child Tax Credit – “Temporary” Changes with Permanent Costs

Analysis: Food for Peace International Aid and USDA’s CCC

March 2, 2021

Analysis: Agriculture and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

March 1, 2021

Analysis: Restaurant Revitalization Fund

February 26, 2021

Weekly Wastebasket: COVID Relief and Common Sense Principles

Quick Take: Three Schools Get a Total of $73.5 Million; But Just These Three 

February 25, 2021

Quick Take: Pollution Link to COVID-19 Public Health Outcomes

Analysis: Bridges And Trains And Museums, Oh My 

Quick Take: Since When Does Spending in 4 ½ Years Qualify as Emergency Spending?

Quick Take: Are You a Veteran? No Copayments for You!

February 24, 2021

Analysis: Inspector General and Transparency/Oversight Funding 

Analysis: Deficits Matter….In The Long Term

Analysis: Congress Must Apply Common Sense Principles to the American Recovery Act 

February 1, 2021

Quick Take: What’s in the Proposed Senate Republican $618 Billion Counteroffer?

January 15, 2021

Analysis: CCC Charter Act: A Case Study in Congressional Abdication (Updated)

January 14, 2021

In The News – Salon: Watchdog — Mitch blocked key aid but pushed tax break for owner of racehorse “Stimulus Check”

December 31, 2020

In The News – CSPAN: TCS President Steve Ellis on Coronavirus Aid and Federal Spending

December 28, 2020

Analysis: Better Tracing Money for Contracts and Contact Tracing

December 24, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Pandemic and Policy Annus Horribilis 

Analysis: Simplification of Small Business Loan Forgiveness Application

Quick Take: What Is and Isn’t in the COVID-19 Relief Package 

Analysis: Here’s Some News for News Organizations

Analysis: Grants for Shuttered Venue Operators

Analysis: No Loans for Lobbyists

Quick Take: Remove barriers for ag sector to thrive

December 22, 2020

In The News – CBS News: Paycheck Protection Program returns with $285 billion, and there’s still room for fraud

In The News – Politifact: Facebook posts wrongly say COVID-19 bill includes foreign aid, arts funding

Analysis: Senate Ag Republicans Get Their Groove Back

December 21, 2020

Statement on FY2021 Omnibus/COVID-19 Relief Package

Analysis: Special Interests 1, Common Sense 0

December 18, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: The Lame Duck TikTok

December 14, 2020

OpEd – The Hill: Liability shield will hurt the public and taxpayers

December 4, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Toxic for Taxpayers

December 3, 2020

Quick Take: The Trump Administration’s Mad Dash to Open up the Arctic to Drilling (Updated)

December 2, 2020

Quick Take: USDA projects government payments at historic levels

November 25, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Setting The Subsidy Table

November 19, 2020 

Weekly Wastebasket: Watchdogging COVID-19 $$$

November 18, 2020

Statement: Fast Tracking Lease Sales in the Arctic Refuge

November 17, 2020

Quick Take: The Trump Administration’s Mad Dash to Open up the Arctic to Drilling

November 4, 2020

OpEd – Washington Times: Why drilling in the Arctic is a fool’s errand

November 1, 2020

In The News – Minnesota Star Tribune: Farmers see record $40B in aid, but many are uneasy accepting help

October 30, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Post-Election To-Do List: Lead

October 19, 2020

In The News – Roll Call: Hit by pandemic, Amtrak is making cuts that may endure

October 15, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Questions for the Candidates

October 9, 2020 

Weekly Wastebasket: What’s Not In Your Wallet

October 1, 2020

In The News – Public News Service: Report – Taxpayers Lost $4B Due to Low Royalty, Lease Rates

September 26, 2020

In The News: Trump administration doling out billions to farmers before the election

September 25, 2020

Letter: Investigate the Pentagon’s Misuse of CARES Act Funds

September 24, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: We’re a Broken Record on Congressional Oversight of Federal Spending

In The News – Caspar Star Tribune: Taxpayer advocates call for oil and gas lease reform

September 22, 2020

Letter to the Hill: Fiscal Groups write, Don’t Threaten a Government Shutdown for More Farm Subsidies

September 18, 2020

In The News – Progressive Farmer: Groups Praise New Aid Package, But Some Also Seek More

September 10, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Enough Head Feints – Pass Responsible Pandemic Relief

In The News – FactCheck: Mnuchin Spins Pre-COVID Path to Debt Reduction

In The News – New York Times: Taxpayer, Conservation Groups Pressure U.S. to Halt Drilling Auctions

September 4, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: This Labor Day, Thank A Working Farmer

September 3, 2020

Analysis: USDA – Farm Subsidies at Highest Level in 20 Years

August 28, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: A Shield For Negligent Business

August 27, 2020

In The News – WLS-AM 890: Bailing out businesses will shift burden onto tax payers
In The News – Open The Government: Q & A with an accountability expert

August 25, 2020

In The News – Washington Examiner: ‘More outrageous than usual’: Pet projects hidden in plain sight in coronavirus bills

August 21, 2020

Op-Ed – Roll Call: Blanket COVID-19 liability shield will cost taxpayers

Weekly Wastebasket: How Resilient Does The Industrial Base Need To Be? 

August 18, 2020

Quick Take: USDA Opening the Treasury to Millionaire “Farmers”

August 17, 2020

In The News – Politico: Democrats fight to give ‘severely underfunded’ business rescue new life

August 14, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Optics Don’t Equal COVID-19 Assistance

August 10, 2020

In The News – Yahoo Finance/On The Move: Coronavirus relief will only work with ‘actual legislation’: Taxpayers for Common Sense President

August 7, 2020

Wastebasket: It’s Past Time To Get It Done

August 5, 2020

In The News – Bloomberg Government: Air Force Scores Jets on Wish List as Senate Spars Over Food Aid

August 3, 2020

In The News – Minnesota Star Tribune: Sen. Tina Smith attacks challenger Jason Lewis over 1998 stance on farm subsidies

July 30, 2020

Wastebasket: Heels of the HEALS Act

July 29, 2020

Analysis: Taxpayers Avoid Huge Losses from Federal Coal Royalty Relief

Analysis: To the Moon, Alice! 

Analysis: Inspectors General Not Getting A Lot of Love

Quick Take: No strings attached aid for agriculture

July 28, 2020

Analysis – HEALS Act: How Much for the Pentagon? 

Analysis – HEALS Act: Mysterious New “Resiliency Funds” for the Industrial Base

Analysis – HEALS Act: Remember, Defense Contractors are “Essential”

Analysis – HEALS Act: Ships and aircraft and missile defense, oh my!

July 24, 2020

In The News: Also getting PPP loans: Businesses where sales have boomed

July 21, 2020</