Sunday, June 29, 2014

Federal Government: Its Scope and Cost NOT Acceptable

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. Originally the Department of Foreign Affairs, it is important in dealing with foreign entities and is in charge of the diplomatic corps answering and keeping informed the President of the United States; often representing the president, the Secretary of State negotiates/establishes treaties and other foreign policies that must be approved by Congress.

Treasury Department (est. 1789) spent $19.56 billion and had 115,897 employees. The first Treasure Secretary was Alexander Hamilton who established the precedence of many policies carried out through the many decades of the federal government. In 2003, in order to establish more efficient operations of the concerns for national security, the ATF, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was transferred to the newly established and conglomerated Department of Homeland Security; along with the Customs Service and Secret Service. The notorious IRS (Internal Revenue Service) is part of this powerful department. The income tax system, arguably a "direct tax" and unconstitutional is still in operation whose progressive tax hurts the economy and encourages citizens to expect those who have higher incomes to pay for everything. An alternative to this unfair and intrusive element of the federal government was introduced in 2002 and is still a bill for legislation called the Fair Tax Act; which has been ignored by congressional members and presidents. It would be a flat tax based upon what is spent, not what is earned; thus reducing the IRS agency to only an auditing department and take away its unconstitutional power that has been abused by the executive branch over the decades, specifically by Richard Nixon and now Barack Obama. It is the main advocacy of the Tea Party movement that demands a fair and unobtrusive tax system be established to replace the income tax system that was established by the 16th Amendment. This reformation alone would greatly aid the failing economy and promote economic growth by unnecessarily punishing industry and citizens who contribute to the economy instead of draining it. By taxing only what is spent, except food and housing, this provides more control of individual budgets, no longer requires expensive paperwork, and because it is based on percentage, those who make more spend more - thus everyone pays their shares according to their means. Wealth is not evil, it can be an asset for any nation and key to employment and opportunities for all citizens who work to achieve it.
Justice Department (est. 1870, Attorney General position created in 1789) spent $46.20 billion and had 112,557 employees.In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order which conveyed, to the Department of Justice, the responsibility for the "functions of prosecuting in the courts of the United States claims and demands by, and offsenses [sic] against, the Government of the United States, and of defending claims and demands against the Government, and of supervising the work of United States attorneys, marshals, and clerks in connection therewith, now exercised by any agency or officer...."

Interior Department (est. 1849) spent $90 billion and had 71,436 employees. Responsible for managing federal lands it also concerns the affairs of native Americans that once included agriculture, which later ended up as its own department.

Agriculture Department (est. 1862) spent $134.12 billion and had 109,832 employees. Responsible for concerns involving farming, forestry and food, it has become inefficient because its operations are still in practice established during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Food producing entities are important to any nation; however, corporate farms have taken advantage of its outdated mandates/policies and funding has been wasted. The issuance of welfare food stamps is the responsibility of this department.

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 concerns were once part of this department until bureaucracy grew so as to establish a separate department for "efficiency".  This department issues standards in the industrial standards as well as patents and trademarks. Concerned with promoting growth it has failed in the last ten years.
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. Recent NSA (National Security Agency) scandal that has shown that the federal government abused the power and scope of this agency; nonetheless, this department is important in concerns of national security and military operations and provides advice and strategies to the President of the United States as commander-in-chief of the US armed forces in dealing with threats concerning the United States.
Health and Human Services (est. 1953), originally Education was included but later separated, spent $879.20 billion with 67,000 employees in 2009. This department will expand considerably because of “Obamacare”. This department's liabilities grew by 11% in 2014; and is expected to increase by 15% by 2015. Fraud is rampant through the Medicare/Medicaid programs and instead of focusing upon the cause: health institutions and healthcare insurance entities, it relies upon

 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. Johnson's Operation "Great Society" mimicking the "New Deal" of FDR, has continued over the decades to be a drain upon the national budget. It has gone beyond the scope of protecting consumers in housing purchases and providing legislation that protects citizens, despite an Inspector General being appointed in 1978 to ensure efficiency and legality; it has been an arena for fraud by real estate developers, especially during the Clinton administration. It is time to greatly reduce this department or maybe do away with it altogether appointing minimal services elsewhere.

Transportation Department (est. 1966) spent $73.20 billion and had 58,622 employees. The DOT is an important aspect of government where transportation is regulated in the name of safety and oversight of those concerns. State governments also have their DOT entities who model it mostly from the federal level. Safety and reliability are its chief concerns.

Energy Department (est. 1977) spent $24.10 billion and had 235,000 employees in 2009. The DOE has been responsible for the lack of movement toward the efficiency of its domestic oil program, which would benefit the United States in several ways; mainly that the US not be dependent upon foreign crude oil within its economic structure. Recent shale oil booms in Dakota area has proven that there is vast amounts of oil reserves that would make the United States no longer reliant upon foreign energy; yet Congress does not react because the radical element of the "conservation" and "environmental" private-sector agencies have too much power and whose ideology is often based upon false and outdated data. This agency is also part of the economic downfall and present crisis we face today. It is also responsible for the increased cost of energy to the consumer who is finding it harder to meet those costs.

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. Recent scandals have proven that the Veterans Affairs department is not just inefficient, but ignores its reason(s) for its existence - mainly the veterans. The same Congress that sends our citizens to fight in foreign lands, mostly other nation's wars (not including the war against Jihadism); has reduced funding for this department in order to waste and overspend in other departments.

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.
Media and citizens can point out the problems, but it takes action from those elected officials responsible to the People to solve those problems. If they do not understand the US constitutional system or understand the proper mechanics of government - they do not belong in Congress nor do they earn the pay and benefits they receive.
2014 is election year, people - make it count and vote responsibly because it is your duty as a citizen.

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