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Front Page » December 10, 2002 » Opinion » Our big land and it's big government
Published 4,370 days ago

Our big land and it's big government


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By RICHARD SHAW
Staff reporter

If you think the land called America is a big place, just look at the federal governmental bureaucracy that has been created since our constitution was put together in the late 18th century. It's become a monster that is not only out of control, but threatens to engulf the power of the states to the point that they no longer can operate as the peoples domain.

Do you want to know how big? Just look at a copy of the Federal Regulatory Directory. A document of almost 800 pages, it describes the various departments, the subdepartments, the sub-sub departments ... well you get the idea. And this is just the bureaucratic part of the government, not the administration nor the legislative branch. Major agencies include the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Federal Communication Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Labor Relations Board, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

That list is impressive. We hear about these agencies somewhere in the news almost every week. But there's more, because those are just the major agencies. The list of other regulatory agencies include the Architectural and Transportation Compliance Board, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Election Commission, the Federal Housing Finance Board, the Federal Maritime Commission, The National Credit Union Administration, the National Mediation Board, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the Postal Rate Commission, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, the United States International Trade Commission and the United States Postal Service.

That's quite a mouthful just to say, much less contemplate. But I'm not done yet. We still have the departmental agencies, which include some really familiar names. Under this group we have the Agriculture Department, the Commerce Department, the Defense Department, the Energy Department, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior Department, the Justice Department, the Labor Department, the State Department, the Transportation Department, the Treasury Department and Veterans Affairs Department.

Now within all these departments and agencies there are many, many subdivisions. Take the Department of Agriculture for example. It has 10 departments of it's own. They include the Agricultural Marketing Service, the Animal and Plant Inspection Service, the Farm Service Agency, Food and Consumer Service, Food Safety and Inspection Service, the Foreign Agricultural Service, the Forest Service, the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Rural Development. All the other departments have similar sub departments; some fewer some more.

Look at them all. What do they do? Well every one has an important job to complete, a job that affects every one of us. But -how much government bureaucracy do we need?

Now these agencies and departments have hundreds of thousands of employees spread all over the country. Locally the federal payroll affects our local economy big time. We as a county particularly benefit from the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service and the Agriculture Department jobs in the area.

No one in the country (I don't think) is fool enough to believe that an agency can be run by the department head and his or her secretary any more, but on the other hand, how big do we need these agencies to be.

But we have no one to blame but ourselves. Over the years we have asked for more and more services from the government and our congressmen and senators have been more than happy to accommodate us. Each party blames the other for this huge growth in government, but they are both at fault.

As I went through all these departments in the book (and the laws that were passed to form them) I can almost tell which party sponsored each piece of legislation. I hate to be simplistic, but if people would just be kind to one another, and not take advantage of their fellow mans generosity or idiocy, you know just follow the golden rule, many of these departments wouldn't even be needed.

But then just think of all the lawyers and bean counters who would be out of a job. And you wouldn't need small town journalists coming up with dumb lists either.


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December 10, 2002
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