Jul 5, 2014

Federal Government: Its Scope and Cost is Unacceptable

The following information comes from a 2009 census breaking down the departments and agencies of the United States federal executive branch. Demand for constitutional and economical downsizing has been called for in recent decades with no results. For example, why is there a department overseeing housing that includes housing welfare funding? That department can be greatly reduced while keeping government out of of private sector concerns.

State Department (established in 1789) spent $16.39 billion in 2009 and had 18,900 employees.

Treasury Department (est. 1789) spent $19.56 billion and had 115,897 employees.

Justice Department (est. 1870, Attorney General position created in 1789) spent $46.20 billion and had 112,557 employees.

Interior Department (est. 1849) spent $90 billion and had 71,436 employees.

Agriculture Department (est. 1862) spent $134.12 billion and had 109,832 employees.

Commerce Department (est. 1903), originally the Commerce and Labor combined, later Labor was separated; spent $15.77 billion and had 43,880 employees in 2009.

Labor Department (est. 1913) spent $137.97 billion and had 17,347 employees. This department regulates labor policies and protects employees; however, it has become the department of labor unions, a private entity that controls politics and thus labor concerns across the United States. Policies and regulations established counter the need for labor unions (trade unions are a separate issue). This all was established by the socialist-minded president, FDR, who was raised in a wealthy family environment and never was a laborer.
Defense Department (est. 1947) spent $651.16 billion and had 3,000,000 employees in 2009.
Health and Human Services (est. 1953), originally Education was included but later separated, spent $879.20 with 67,000 employees in 2009. This department will expand considerably because of “Obamacare”.
Housing and Urban Development (est. 1965) spent $40.53 billion with 10,600 employees; part of the President Johnson push towards a social welfare state.
Transportation Department (est. 1966) spent $73.20 billion and had 58,622 employees.
Energy Department (est. 1977) spent $24.10 billion and had 235,000 employees in 2009.
Education Department (est. 1980) spent $45.40 billion and had 4,487 employees in 2009. This department has a poor record of efficiency and whose increased funding over the decades has done nothing to keep the United States within the top ten educational standards worldwide. It has failed for a number of reasons, mostly that politicians continue to believe that more funding is the solution and have allowed private entities like labor/trade union to have too much power.
Veterans Affairs (est. 1989) was formerly an independent agency as the Veterans Administration, spent $97.70 billion with 235,000 employees in 2009.
Homeland Security (est. 2002) spent $2,311.30 billion with 4,193,144 employees in 2009.
In addition to these departments there are independent agencies that are outside of the federal executive departments and are headed by a Cabinet secretary appointed by the President of the United States, commonly called the “Czars”. Heads of these agencies are subject to Senate confirmation, appointed by the President of the United States and is why the political parties focus upon control of the US Senate. Major examples of these agencies:
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) gathers intelligence and provides national security assessments for the President.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulates commodity futures and option markets in the United States, protecting against manipulation, abusive trade practices and fraud through oversight and regulation.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) works with state and local governments (oversees them) to allegedly control pollution of air and water and deal with problems of solid waste, pesticides, radiation, and toxic substances. It is an agency that is governed by politics instead of true science and its original established intent.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in charge of regulating interstate and international communications in the form of radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The FCC regulates telephone and telegraph companies.
Federal Election Commission (FEC) oversees campaign financing for federal elections, overseeing election rules as well as reporting campaign contributions by the candidates.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has jurisdiction over interstate electricity sales, wholesale electric rates, hydroelecric licensing, natural gas pricing, and oil pipeline rates as well as reviewing and controlling natural gas industry and hydropower projects.
Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) regulates international ocean transportation of the United States.
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is the governing body of the Federal Reserve System, central banking of the United States that conducts the nation's monetary policy by influencing credit and money circulation; which constitutionally is the concern of the US Congress prescribed by the Constitution of the United States. It regulates private banking institutions and financial markets and provides certain financial services to the US federal government. Concerns over auditing procedures has surfaced recently; and does not keep Congress properly informed who is constitutionally in charge of currency and approval of all forms of spending within the federal system.
Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) has about 100 employees which provides Federal employees a retirement security program, similar to a private sector 401(k) plan. Problem is that the US Congress has established a retirement program for ELECTED officials who are NOT government employees. Thus, by only serving two terms, they are eligible for retirement benefits after leaving office.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces federal antitrust and consumer protection laws and ensures that national markets are competitive and do not employ unfair or deceptive practices.
General Services Administration (GSA) is responsible for purchase, supply, operation, and maintenance of federal property, buildings, and equipment and for the sale of surplus items to the general public. GSA also manages the federal motor vehicle fleet and its telecommuting centers and civilian child care centers.
International Trade Commission (ITC) provides trade expertise for the legislative and executive branch of federal government and determines the impact of imports on US industries, directs actions against certain unfair trade practices, such as patent, trademark, and copyright infringement.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was established in 1958 to be in charge of the US Space Program and conducts research earth-orbiting satellites and interplanetary probes and operating the manned space shuttles and space station programs. Established by President Eisenhower during the “race to space” era competing with the Soviet Union, it has become polluted by political ideology.
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) preserves the history of the United States and manages all federal records, documents, films, computer data, maps, still pictures and audio recordings.
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administers the principal United States labor law, the National Labor Relations Act and is vested with power to prevent or remedy unfair labor practices and to safeguard employees through elections whether to have a union (or not) as their bargaining representative. Unfortunately, the US Congress and Judiciary system has allowed labor unions within the federal employment community; which then places private institutions (labor unions) with unconstitutional power over labor within the United States government.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates all aviation accidents in United States and major railroad and other transportation accidents.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was established by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 from the United States Atomic Energy Commission overseeing reactor safety, licensing, radioactive material safety, and spent fuel management.
National Science Foundation (NSF) is a government agency that supports research and education in non-medical fields of science and engineering that has become too political and wastes too much of its funding on junk science and frivolous projects. It has expanded markedly over the original intent and purpose.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was established to protect investors who buy stocks and bonds. The commission has the power to prevent or punish fraud in the sale of securities and is authorized to regulate stock exchanges.
Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) was created in 1971 as a Postal Rate Commission, just another bureaucracy within the United States Postal Service that the US Congress is responsible for by the US Constitution. It's efficiency record is a key indication of inefficient operations of the federal government, yet the People through elections authorize the government to take over their retirement and healthcare concerns.
Selective Service System (SSS) is an independent federal agency that operates under authorization of the Military Selective Service Act. It is NOT part of the Department of Defense and exists only in case conscription is required, directed by the US Congress and President of the United States in a national crisis.
Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 to advise, assist and protect the interest of small businesses across the nation. The SBA guarantees loans to small businesses, aids victims of floods and other natural disasters and helps secure contracts for small businesses that supplies goods and services to the federal government.
Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the Social Security program whose funds were to be a “trust” fund established by FDR that the US Congress have misappropriated over decades. Workers are required to contribute to the fund with no alternate choice. The US Congress continually raises the retirement age, which indirectly and consequently reduce the amount of funds paid out.
Surface Transportation Board (STB) was created by the ICC Termination Act of 1995 that replaced the Interstate Commerce Commission. Supposedly independent, it is administered by the Department of Transportation.
United States Postal Service is an “independent establishment” of the federal government that replaced the Cabinet-level Post Office Department in 1971. Responsible for collection, transportation and deliver of mail and for operating local post offices across the nation.
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) were formally part of the Federal Reserve Board and now part of the President's Cabinet, allegedly independent agencies.
Lack of oversight of the members of the US Congress and the US Supreme Court justices allowing powers beyond constitutional limitations have culminated into the bureaucratic mess we see today. Instead of seeing that expansion of the federal government causes astronomical budget deficits, members of Congress and the President of the United States continues on political paths that have proven to have failed. Instead of repealing or amending passed legislation that has failed to do what was intended, they instead make more laws. Today's average legislator has the ideology that if expenses get out of hand that increased taxation or new ways to tax the populace, when true budgeting requires that expenses be examined and determine where government operating expenses can be reduced.
This problem and the resulting economic crisis is not just the fault of one political entity, both both of the traditional two party system.
Remember that those expenditures do not include the billions of dollars given to foreign nations in funds, supplies and equipment or like abandoned equipment after failure to succeed in fighting other people's wars.
To continue on the same path that has led to failure and economic repression/depression without seeking common sense non-political solutions is not just not acceptable, but complete lunacy.
We the People cannot expect any true reformation to be initiated or carried out by those operating our government unless We the People provide them initiative. That initiative is being allowed to keep their elected office; and part of that accomplishment is obtained by ignoring mainstream political mouthpiece media who has the audacity to tell the people who is qualified to be a candidate in a primary election instead of providing information required to make one's own choice. Election campaigning is too often all finger pointing instead of informing voters what they will do differently if elected – how and why. Knowing the details is the duty of a responsible voter, and a responsible voter ensures that people of good character are elected; for in the final analysis, politicians are a reflection upon the values and morality of the society.
Further Reading:
Renewed Push for Fed Transparency, CATO, Mark A. Calabria
A Senate Contract with America, American Thinker, Bruce Walker

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