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> Give one govt program/agency a pink slip, Who gets the axe?
psyclist
post Jan 25 2006, 04:00 AM
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Unbeknownst to all of us, the FBI, NSA, and CIA have been spying on ADers. Packet sniffing our internet traffic, wiretapping our cell phones, intercepting our snail mail, and even using their special ultra super secret brain wave analyzer to read our thoughts. (Except for Cube Jockey’s who keeps a hefty supply of tin foil near him at all times tongue.gif )

After collecting and thoroughly analyzing all this data they’ve come to one conclusion... we are one smart bunch of bananas! So after about 400 memos, 47 layers of red tape, 2 court appeals, 18 rounds of voting and 1 super secrete vote the Government has granted you, yes YOU, the power to eliminate ONE government agency/program! All you have to do is answer the following questions:


What government program/agency would you eliminate?

Why would you eliminate it?

How will it affect the American public? (Both positively and negatively)

What, if anything, will fill the void? (This should be done by public company, etc.)



Here's a list of them for you.

This post has been edited by psyclist: Jan 25 2006, 04:08 AM
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Titus
post Jan 25 2006, 05:31 AM
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I didn't need the list to think of the agency I drop the hammer on.

My pick for pink:

The Department of Homeland Security

First off, they have way too much bueracracy. There's no reason that the Secret Service and the Coast Guard couldn't remain under their old bosses.

Then, you have sub-agencies like the "Directorate for Science and Technology" which describes itself as the "...is the primary research and development arm..." of DHS, providing "...federal, state and local officials with the technology and capabilities to protect the homeland."

Is there a reason why we can't contract private companies to do this? Why is it better that a government agency with a fixed, permanent cash flow tinker with projects than companies competing for bids by putting their best foot forward? Sounds like a formula for stagnation.

Then you have the "Office of Policy", which describes itself as "the primary policy formulation and coordination component for the Department of Homeland Security..." providing a "centralized, coordinated focus to the development of Department-wide, long-range planning to protect the United States."

Policy formula: PROTECT AMERICA! You need a "directorate" to establish, promote, and coordinate that policy? Here's an idea, it's called gettin the high-level management and their senior staff at a Holiday Inn and saying "hmm, what else can we screw up?"

Now, this is my favorite reason right here. The aforementioned reason leads into this one. You have so many "chiefs", that almost all your sub-agencies ARE FAILURES.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): (Horrible) Failure

Transportation Security Administration (TSA): Spending obscene amounts money on everything *but* securing ports of entry. Why bother training agents to do a great job when you can furnish offices and frisk old ladies?

By the way, WE HAVE SEAPORTS TOO GUYS!


All of the following minus the Fed Law Enforcement Training Center should be lumped into one giant failure of a sub-agency.

Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) :

First off, these agencies should have way more money than they are given. There are detention centers in the southwest U.S. with little to accomodate large numbers of illegals caught crossing illegaly. What I love most is the description for the ICE, "...the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for identifying and shutting down vulnerabilities in the nation’s border, economic, transportation and infrastructure security.

How about beefing up security at the border? How about fighting gangs like MS 13 who are involved in traffiking drugs and people, and were alleged to be possibly talking to members of Al-Qaeda? How about a fence? How about anything?

Now, I'll finish by posting their description of their "Proactive Federal Response to Catastrophic Events" and their "Multi Agency Coordination Structure" respectively.


QUOTE
Proactive Federal Response to Catastrophic Events

The National Response Plan provides mechanisms for expedited and proactive Federal support to ensure critical life-saving assistance and incident containment capabilities are in place to respond quickly and efficiently to catastrophic incidents. These are high-impact, low-probability incidents, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks that result in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale, and/or government functions.




QUOTE
Multi-Agency Coordination Structures

The National Response Plan establishes multi-agency coordinating structures at the field, regional and headquarters levels. These structures:

Enable the execution of the responsibilities of the President through the appropriate Federal department and agencies;

Integrate Federal, State, local, tribal, nongovernmental Organization, and private-sector efforts; and

Provide a national capability that addresses both site-specific incident management activities and broader regional or national issues, such as impacts to the rest of the country, immediate regional or national actions required to avert or prepare for potential subsequent events, and the management of multiple incidents.


All I need say is Katrina.... Their own policy was opposite of what happend in the Gulf States, we have FEMA who was just nowhere, and then we have "Multi-Agency Coordination Structures" that never coordinated....ever.

Ah, but now is the solution.

Americans will be better off with an agency that has less bueracracy and more ecomonic oversight. Shed all the agencies that don't need to be under this one. Have a budget fit for the "local/first responders" that the DHS claims is so important, but isn't getting any money.

Replace it with an agency that doesn't use Crayola for a warning system.
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CruisingRam
post Jan 25 2006, 07:11 AM
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What government program/agency would you eliminate?

I think it is pretty obvious to all- Homeland security- Titus beat me to it thumbsup.gif

For one thing- this being one of the most crony of crony-ist administrations- it is filled with non- proffesioals at the top- not picked for job excellence- but for political rewards. And since this administration has done a nice job of highlighting what happens when you fill those top spots with your yes men, and then have them ignore expert advice when it doesn't sit with your ideology- you are bound to have hte worst department ever.



Why would you eliminate it? See above- that, and it is simply TOO all encompasing- and not enough power given to career public servents to make sure the appointed folks don't screw things up- and this is true with any administration- this one is just so bad it didn't have time to fester before showing it's cracks like most departments do when elected officials that dont' care to listen start mucking around.

How will it affect the American public? (Both positively and negatively)


Well, if we got somebody competent into the executive branch, and I am not talking about some great leader- someone that is just merely competent- we don't have to have a systems genius here- just barely competent- you could basically split things like immigration off, and deal with it's unique troubles and such- there is just too many appointed positions in important jobs that really don't belong there. It is like when Wally Hickel up here (former Governer) appointed a guy that owned a few grocery stores to run Corrections- oh man, how quickly did his idiocy show?

What, if anything, will fill the void? (This should be done by public company, etc.)

We are a nation of 300 million poeple, an open society , with open borders, open information etc. But we have natural chokepoints as well. We should copy what other countries have found to work if we can, and be smarter about it if we don't have a model to follow. Like with airport security and the netherlands- why don't we just adopt thier standards and methods universally? Fast- efficient and darn near impregnable- I think last I checked, considered the most secure in the world next to Isreal- and they are too extreme for American tastes- don't know what time the airplane actually leaves, may sit on the tarmac at random for a couple hours etc.

GW Bush actually praised Gore in the debates I recall about FEMA and it's improvements and response times- and then, once in power- took it right back to big fat 0.

I guess perhaps some more checks and balances for the elected and appointed folks might be a good idea- something like a new confirmation process for the heads of these departments- with a job qualification standard that must be met prior to them even taking the job- i.e. "Brownie is doing a heck of a job"
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Victoria Silverw...
post Jan 25 2006, 10:37 AM
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The Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

Why? Well, first of all, it was based on a "need" which did not exist. Faith-based organizations already got money to help them provide for social needs, as long as they followed the simple step of setting up a separate, secular organization dedicated to those non-religious services. According to the non-partisan Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy (a division of the Rockefeller Institute of Government), the White House made inaccurate statements when it pushed for these initiatives.

Link

QUOTE
The White House released "Unlevel Playing Field" in 2001, which the Rockefeller report points out contains major factual errors. One example: It claims HUD gave no funding to religious groups under its $20 million Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program, when it actually had given more than half of its total funding in 2000 to Habitat for Humanity International. It claimed HUD had banned religious groups from owning housing projects under a program for the elderly, when in fact religious groups made up more than two-thirds of the program's sponsors during the program's 35-year history.


Secondly, this program rapidly led to blatant violations of the separation of church and state.

QUOTE
Allowing federally-funded religious groups to discriminate on the basis of religion in employment.

Permitting religious groups to convert government-forfeited property to religious purposes after five years, previously prohibited (Department of Justice change).

Allowing federally-funded religious groups to build and renovate structures used for both religious worship and social services.

No longer requiring religious social service providers to certify they exert "no religious influence" (Veterans Administration).

Allowing students to use federal job-training vouchers to receive religious training to work at a church or other religious group (Department of Labor).


I find the first of these violations to be the most egregious. Federal funds for organizations that discriminate on the basis of religion? Didn't we get rid of that during the Civil Rights Movement?

Nothing I say here should suggest that I wish to limit in any way the freedom of religious organizations to organize themselves in any way they wish, and to promote religious beliefs of any kind -- without my tax money.

Getting rid of this thing will just send us back to the ways things used to be, as I have said above. Faith-based organizations want to do good works? Great! They want some help from the government? No problem -- just set up a secular organization so it will be easy to prevent government money from being used for religious purposes. Three cheers for the faith-based folks at Habit For Humanity, who know how to play this game!

This post has been edited by Victoria Silverwolf: Jan 25 2006, 10:37 AM
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Blackstone
post Jan 26 2006, 06:29 AM
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What government program/agency would you eliminate?

Alright, I'm gonna cheat and name two: The Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Why would you eliminate it?

These two agencies have no purpose in life but to subsidize our global competitors, particularly Communist China. Think about it: we're now borrowing money from China. As has been reported in the news lately, Chinese banks are holding a growing portion of our public debt. So we're borrowing money from China to subsidize China (and through the IMF as well...do I get to name a third agency, by the way?). Does this make any sense to anyone?

Most of this subsidization is done to take away the risk of doing business in countries like China, where government officials aren't exactly clean-as-a-whistle when it comes to things like corruption. But companies that do business in that Communist cesspool should bear their own risks. Maybe then China will have to shape up if it wants to attract more business.

It's not just China that's the beneficiary of these programs. Corrupt kleptocratic societies all over the world can enjoy undeserved American investment as a result of this. It's all part of a very distasteful process known as "socializing risks and privatizing profits" - that is, the company gets to keep its profits for itself, while the taxpayer gets the privilege of guaranteeing its risks for its reckless decision to do business with these clowns.
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skeeterses
post Jan 28 2006, 03:31 AM
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What government program/agency would you eliminate?
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy06/browse.html
http://a255.g.akamaitech.net/7/255/2422/07...dget/tables.pdf
For background information, here is a link to the Budget for America and the summary. The summary of the summary is at the bottom of the summary.
As a Liberterian, there are many government programs I would like to cut.
However, the 4 biggest programs are Defense, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. The program that needs to be cut is Medicare.

Why would you eliminate it?
First, cutting the big programs would be the best way to balance the budget and bring fiscal sanity back to Washington D.C. And yes, deficits do matter.
Second of all, the red tape that goes into these programs makes healthcare prohibitively expensive for those who don't have access to Medicare or Medicaid.
Finally, having the government subsidize healthcare encourages people to engage in unhealthy lifestyles like drinking, fast food restaurants, and smoking. If every individual had to pay for his/her own health insurance, that person would actually listen when the Doctor says to exercise more and get rid of the booze.

How will it affect the American public? (Both positively and negatively)
There would be intense opposition from the AARP and the Senior Citizen community at large on this if a politician every brought this idea up. In order to bring this wealth redistribution scam down, the young workers of America are going to have to either go on strike or find a way to evade taxes.

For the negative effect, the transition phase will be expensive. People who have relied on Medicare and Medicaid will find their healthcare more expensive for a while.

Over the long term, people will take better care of themselves. If the deregulation is done carefully to prevent any monopoly from taking over, competition among the health insurance companies will encourage them to be efficient and have people pay premiums based on their actual risks. In fact, making healthcare more efficient will bring down costs over the long term.
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