I got an email from a friend in California that contained three articles by Mike Huckabee regarding the recent Presidential Election. They were interesting little articles that were somewhat celebratory, hopeful and, I think, a good bit short sighted. Therefore, in this post I will digress from my usual subjects and address what I think are the short comings in these three articles.
I would like to say that we have only won one skirmish. The “Progressive”, left wing in politics includes nearly the entire Democrat Party and a fair portion of the Republican Party. They have been at work for 100 years or a little more to accomplish their fundamental make-over of the United States. We took the Federal government from their grasp in this last election. However, they are still there and licking their wounds. Like any other wounded animal they are even more wary now and will be more sly, cunning, conniving and dangerous the next time around. The mid-term election in two years will almost certainly see the Democrats back in a power position unless we, the people, keep our senses about us, our guard up and maintain with energy and drive what we have just won by energy and drive.
As for Obamacare nothing about it has been about healthcare. It was all about grabbing power, controlling people and raising taxes without going through the proper channels for raising taxes. That said the Republican Party is not going to actually do anything to healthcare. It will repeal Obamacare and initiate a program that they feel is more palatable. However, that program will be an insurance program, not a healthcare program. The sooner people in this country learn that government is not the answer the sooner truly beneficial changes can be accomplished. We need the Federal Government to be downsized to the Constitutional entity that was envisioned at the founding of our nation.
We do not need centralized control of every aspect of our lives. To start with, taxes should be simplified to the point that a postcard sized report is all that is needed and the IRS should be abolished. The next to go bye-bye should be the Federal Department of Education. Education was left with the state and local governments and needs to be returned there. Then I think that the EPA, the Department of Agriculture, The Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Housing and Urban Development could be done away with. As more of these socialist departments and agencies are dissolved and their efforts returned to the individual states and the private sector I think our country will flourish. We do not need a big-brother type of government to become the all powerful arm of a dictator or a cabal of an elite group who decides each individuals place, lot in life and worth.
If some folks would protest the choices of cuts that I have suggested let us review the efficacy of these various groups and their cost to the American tax payer starting with the IRS.
The IRS is a bloated bureaucracy with so many rules and regulations they cannot even keep up with them all. Their primary purpose is to collect the taxes due the Federal Government. Their annual budget is about $12 Million. They strike fear in the hearts of virtually everybody and most companies in the country because of their power over the purse. Taxes could be simplified to the point that we could all report on a postcard and be done. We should not need 89,500 people to make that collection.
Next we consider the Federal Department of Education. This department truly is not constitutional by the fact that the Constitution leaves the governance of education to the various states. With 4,400 people employed and a massive budget of $69.4 Billion a year, it is one Federal entity that could and should be done away with. Leave the education of our children at the local level and we are much less likely to have the likes of Common Core shoved down our throats.
The Environmental Protection Agency has done little to nothing to actually protect the environment and has, rather, put up walls and barricades to advancement and development in this country that would have offered more jobs and broadened the tax base. The EPA has over 17,000 employees and has a budget of $8.2 Billion, which will grow exponentially if they take on the 230,000 new employees they are seeking just to address the actual increase in permitting functions. It would seem to me that we should be getting a whale of a lot more benefit from our 8.2 Billion tax dollars.
The Department of Agriculture is another bloated Federal organization which has 105,000 employees and an annual budget of $139.7 Billion. I will not get into all the facts and figures for why it should be done away with but will refer you to http://bit.ly/2fbPDbm for a complete analysis. It still stands that the Department of Agriculture is doing a lot of stuff unrelated to its original purpose and that the results we, the citizens of the United States, are getting for our 139.7 Billion tax dollars are not worthy of the outlay.
Now we will consider the Department of Energy which employs 16,000 people and some 90,000 to 100,000 contractors with a budget of $30.6 Billion. They are tasked “with advancing the national, economic, and energy security of the United States, promoting scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission and ensuring the environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex”. That quote is directly from a DOE factsheet. The fact is that many of their ideas, innovation and promotions have given us rising prices and no commensurate value. One example is their ethanol mandates and the commensurate rise in food prices.
The Department of Homeland Security is almost laughable and a butt of jokes about its being an oxymoron. Most people do not consider themselves any safer and feel they are more disadvantaged by the existence of this body. It has more than 240,000 employees and a budget of $41.2 Billion. Couple that with the fact that they have employed people that are on government terrorist watch lists, people are frequently finding their luggage has been opened, gone through and personal effects taken, and that they have been tested at various airports and largely found to be about 95% ineffective (see http://bit.ly/1YSA32M). There are better ways to secure our country and citizens.
Finally we look at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, known as HUD. I had quite a time trying to find the number of employees. Most of the groups above readily listed how many employees they had, but not HUD. I did finally get a 2014 figure of 8,416 from Wikipedia. In searching, however, I did find that most of the HUD employees do little or nothing to earn their pay checks and some even manage outside businesses and other interests while on the job at HUD. They still get paid. It was also interesting to learn that HUD almost never fires anyone and then the person has to be convicted in a court of law for the offense for which he/she is being terminated. Also interesting to learn was that about half of the employees make six figure incomes. That, I suppose, would help to account for a budget of $32.6 Billion.
As I stated above, getting rid of these various departments and agencies would free up $321,712,900,000 of tax funds that could be applied to retiring our national debt or building our economy to the point of being able to pay it off. It would be necessary to place most of the work done by these various groups in the private sector where the work could be accomplished profitably at a much lower cost. This would create more than a half million jobs and widen the tax base dramatically.
If, for some reason, one or more of these entities could not functionally be totally abandoned and their work replaced in the private sector or at the state level, then they need to be cut back to a very truncated version of what they now are. It would not be the end of life and affluence. I was living in Ohio when the economy tanked in the early 1980’s. Then governor, Jim Rhodes, went through the state government getting rid of all extraneous or over-lapping personnel. It put a lot of people out of work. At the same time the State of Ohio began courting industrial development and new business. The end result was Ohio rebounded in the next couple of years and wound up with more jobs than before. At the time it seemed like a bad move as Ohio was in double digit unemployment, but the end result was a boon. It will be the same thing if we can whittle down the size of the Federal Government because government is not a profit producer. Government always has been and always will be a leech on society and the bigger it grows the more it sucks out of the pockets of the producers whether they are individual workers or large manufacturing or service industries.