Forum Thread

Big Government

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  • Independent
    New Hampshire
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    Big Government can exist for many reasons. We have over 500 Departments and Agencies which cover a variety of functions. You can do a web search for “Federal Departments and Agencies” and find all that exist. The problem I see as the cause of “Big Government” is caused by two different things. The easiest reason is duplication of duties with the second being caused by separation of duties.
    How many Departments or Agencies do we need to gather information or Native American Issues, the Economy, Transportation, Safety etc,? Would it make sense to have an entity named Native American Affairs and combine the dozen which exist into one? The worst thing which could happen is that one agency would be required to solve a problem where in most cases several agencies are involved.
    9/11 provided us with Homeland Security, an additional organization to oversee or link together the dozens which exist. How many intelligence gathering and enforcement agencies do we need? Could things be done more efficiently if we combine them instead of adding on a new level? The NSA and CIA are not even included and the communications between agencies, though improved, still leaves much to be desired.
    Good example: in the A list which contains only those starting with the letter A we find:
    Ability One Commission, U.S. Access Board and Administration on Developmental Disabilities all dealing with the same function; but with some major functions being different. Would it make sense to make them one and just expand the scope.
    The same conditions exist in all areas mentioned in the first section of this post. Rather than starting a new Department or Agency every time we have a new problem we should look into using an existing Department or Agency to perform the task. A system should also be put in place to maintain an acceptable performance level. Individuals not doing their job should be informed, if they continue they should be fired. Inspectors not performing inspections is bad, inspectors allowing departure from regulations is unforgivable. It happens with government contracts all the time.
    We need Safety and Health regulation as business has proved they will not maintain an acceptable standard without them.
    You get the idea, what do you think?
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    I have always wondered why there is so much duplication in the US Government. While serving in the military, it was called "tradition" as an excuse to uniform and equipped the different specilities in the Air Force, Navy, Army, Marines, and Coast Guard (non-DOD). Each had their own payroll, administrations, research, bases, ect...ectera. There must be a way to simplify each of these Departments, removing duplication, and consolidate our forces to protect the nation. What a cost saving that would be. Since being out of the military since 1977, I have seen some consolidation of administrative overhead, but there still are many areas within each group that could do much better to stim the raising cost of war and protecting our nation.

    After leaving the military, I continued to work for the US Government providing technical/engineering services for the FAA. As seniority continued in my career, I became more convinced why other government agencies where doing similar as in the FAA. A classic example is all the weather reporting facililties in the nation, which in the thousands. Most all are FAA and located near or on an airport. A very few are NOAA paid for initially. The FAA in their wisdom has paid NOAA $15M and more each year for NOAA to take care of all these selected weather systems. Some are maintained by the FAA. Since any weather system on airport is primary reporting for aviation and secondary for public reporting, why doesn't FAA maintain them all? It has been a topic of discussion for decades, but no one willing to pursue consolidation of forces. For your interest, you can observe the weather at any airport by web search "airnav" and name of the airport. The airport specifics and information is provided free to the public. Most weather sites have a free telephone access you can call and receive the automated METAR formated message.

    The above are just two examples of US Government consolidation that could take place. I sometimes think about all the different policing authority agencies, such as, FBI, Secret Service, CIA, and US Marshall's Office. I understand they have different duties and missions, but think about a common business office. An office has several different managers managing different clients/customers, several different administrative staff people, auditing staff, payroll and all up to the big boss and/or CEO. Having different missions or duties is no excuse. I think all of us can remember the screw-up of US authorities during the days leading up to 9-11. None of these security agencies were talking to one another and some knew what was happening and could happen and did not share the information. So, nonconsolidation can cause trajedy, confusion and a huge cost burden to an already economically stressed out nation.


    I'm a great fan of a smaller and more efficient US Government. I caution anyone proposing eliminating services, because they will be the forst to cry, "I miss that service the government used to provide". I believe the US Government can buckle down and consolidate many agencies and still provide the necessary services we enjoy and require, continuing to be a class nation on this blue marble in the universe.
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    Wonderful idea, to consolidate and work just a little harder, and save boatloads of money. Exactly what we need in the U.S.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    There certainly is a lot of room for consolidation and improvement in efficiency. Just take a look at the list of government agencies in Wikipedia:

    List of United States federal agencies

    Your finger can get tired scrolling down the page. Wow.

    I don't know why it's so hard for the any President and Congress to commit to some kind of revamping of the way they do work. President Obama last year committed to do some consolidation in the Commerce Department. However, I don't know if it was accomplished. Maybe it's a work in progress.

    US News: Obama to Merge 6 Government Agencies, Cut 2,000 Employees

    However, even that amount is very modest compared to the overall size of the bureaucracy.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    I think you all have inadvertently hit the nail on the head. The REASON WHY nobody DOES all that consolidation that we so fervently need, is because it would involve "cutting jobs" and that would mean even MORE UNEMPLOYMENT. Right now, with all the unemployment there already is, we can't afford to lay off millions more workers, leaving them with no jobs -- to pay for their house or car or food.

    It is all a vicious circle, with no easy way out. We duplicate so many things, like identical fast food places, dept stores, & grocery chains, but it is beneficial that all those places provide jobs, so people have money to spend, to buy other things, which keeps the whole ball rolling. It makes the economy flourish, & keeps the money flowing as it should. So "WE" are the best stimulus to the economy, & if we are kept employed, our earnings will
    raise all boats, a little higher, as a result.
  • Independent
    New Hampshire
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    The unemployment issue is not really a problem. Jobs are the problem.

    We keep hearing about new fields opening to provide jobs; but I haven't seen any?

    We have heard about major employment switching to developing technologies which we can then sell to other nations. I'm afraid to tell people that switching to job market which simply developes technologies and sells the technologies will require a smaller work and higher unemployment.
    The qualitity of education in the US is failing to keep pace with many other nations.

    Wages for Federal Employees is higher than those in the private sector from the numbers I've seen. What we could call upper management on the Federal Level is lower though, still not bad at all though. On unemployment we would save money as they would be recieving less. On paper the cost of government would be reduces, the private sector would retaine more money bringing about higher profits and the creation of jobs. Ask any Tea Party member.

    We can't expand into Social Media as that is being filled by job seekers which have been unable to finf jobs and take a seminar on Social Media and become an expert in hours. All promicing to have you at the top of the list for search engines. Am I the only person in New England that designs home they say that to?

    Capitalism requires that business takes the lead in providing employment and this is not happening. We only have to compare the industrial Revolution of the 1800s to industry today to see the difference between then and now.
    What industries brought about the changes? Transportation and Materials became two key areas. We can use a well designed and implimented high speed rail system. A double system would be a logical approach, one for freight and one for passangers. Rather than having the stations in the center of metro areas they could be located outside the areas and offer EV rentals or public transportation to the cities. At 100 mph it would take 5 to 6 hours to travel Boston to Washington DC. Compare that to flying about 2 hours or driving about 10 hours. I was sketching an enclosed rail system, slightly elevated to remove or reduce inclines in most areas. Have our Capitalists lost their visions? Electric power by presewnt day technology fuel cells of low profile trains in an enclosed track system should have minimal environmental impact.

    What I sketched may not be the ultimate solution and I'm sure there are many that could come up with a concept to be used as a starting point.