by Clay Barham

Easier said, but it can be done.  It starts with the new CEO of the Federal Government, the President, telling all those who work for the Executive Branch there will be no more hiring, except for the military.  That means when people die or retire, they will not be replaced by anyone from the outside.  If necessary to replace them, it will be from people already working in other departments of the government, like musical chairs.  That is when you will see impending shrinkage of the bureaucracy.

In addition to that, you eliminate the Cabinet Departments by telling them they may neither hire nor replace at all, ever again, for certain, and if done, heads will roll. Each Cabinet chief comes into the administration for the sole purpose of eliminating the department in, say, four years.  The result is departments will ultimately disappear and have to share necessary functions, if there are any, with the states until they are out of the loop.  This is kind of a Tenth Amendment thing, gradually accomplished by deaths and retirements, and no replacement of those working in the Departments.

Which Departments are we discussing?  Let us begin with the ones we should keep, those organized earliest under our Founding Fathers.  That would be four of the fifteen to remain.  The Departments of Defense (once the War Department), Justice, State and Treasury should stay.  That leaves eleven to eliminate, whose duties are sent back to the people and the states where they belong.

The Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, Transportation and Veteran’s Affairs.  We should eliminate all of these, perhaps over one Presidential term of four years. The anger at losing these departments, their power and their largesse for special interests, would be so great that the President who carries it off will never get re-elected.

All you have to do is look at the activities of each of those departments and ask yourself if their responsibilities, if even needed, are beyond the capabilities of the people and their states.  In other words, are people at the Federal level more efficient, more in tune with how our nation should work than Americans in a state?  I should not think so!  Basic government is the County, and the states exist to do what is commonly needed by the counties, such as that which they could not do for themselves.  The Federal Government, as it was originally organized, was an association, a union, a confederation of sovereign states that did only what those states were unable to do alone.

The functions acquired by the Federal Government, by adding those departments, took place while the people slept.  If they knew the horrors that would arise as these departments grew and sucked up the people’s private resources, they would have said no.

Look closely at those departments and their functions.  They assume the people and the free market are incapable of discovering the right kinds of energy to use, how best to educate children, or transport goods and people from place to place.  They assume farmers would be lost without the Department of Agriculture, and certainly could not sustain growth if relying only on states or created associations.  Every one of those eleven departments started because politicians believed the people were incapable closer to home.

Some of their functions may have to be shifted to the four remaining departments, such as Homeland Security may have to go totally into the Department of Justice.  Veteran’s Affairs goes to the Defense Department where it belongs.  Much of the rest goes back to the states, and where redundant, they can be eliminated.  This may sound simple and perhaps naïve, because the bureaucrats and politicians who build their personal prosperity on the department programs will scream bloody murder. Further, if the redistribution of income for equal outcome is more important, they will want to keep things as they are.

Once all these functions and programs are shifted closer to the people who vote for those who vote for them, we will see how generous the flow of money.  The Federal Budget will have to be reduced significantly in a manner that leads the way back to the states. The methods of taxing will have to be modified.

It is conceivable that the lower federal take on the income and productivity of private citizens will be so significant as to create a completely new economic boom.  Such a boom will be the fastest way of income redistribution respecting effort and merit, rather than special interest bloc voting.

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



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