These are not new concepts around here, and while going through some old posts for my 10th Anniversary year I found one I wanted to reprint here. I was only mildly surprised that I said some of the same things as I did a few days ago, almost word for word. A bit surprisingly, the links in it are still good (two gave a 404, so I deleted one link, and the other I left for its name).
If I Got To Dismantle The Fed.Gov
But it got me thinking, despite the "tax the rich" crap we've heard so much it sickens us, we know that it's the spending. We know, thanks to Dr. Hauser, that tax incomes remain around the same as percent of GDP regardless of tax rates - tax rates determine if the economy grows and creates opportunity for more people to improve their standard of living. We all know that deep cuts in spending from both discretionary and the entitlement budgets have to be cut if we're going to turn this ship around. So it got me thinking, if I were king of the forest, what would I cut?
Some of it is easy, and you've heard it all before. The Department of Education has not educated a single person, and needs to go. The Department of Energy was founded to help us get independent of foreign oil, and we have become more dependent on foreign oil. BATFE is a useless black hole of suck, and needs to go. The tax code needs to go, and the IRS sent home.
But here's a couple that will surprise you. I deal with a couple of "big name" agencies that have undeserved good reputations, the FCC and the FAA. Both of these were useful at some point, but have long outlived it. The FCC needs to be cut back to a bare bones couple of geeks who help keep services from stepping on each other, maybe monitoring the spectrum to find violators. Originally, they provided technical direction for the development of radio and television, and helped get broadcasting started. Now their technical side is routinely stepped on by stupid political hacks with unimaginably stupid ideas like Broadband over Powerlines while the political appointees advance insipid attempts to regulate the content of news and programming, including whether you have the required number of women and minorities. The FCC probably hasn't done anything useful since the mid 1960s and needs to go. Upset you saw Janet Jackson's Wardrobe Malfunction? Complain to the network and the advertisers.
The FAA is likewise just about useless. When it comes to the systems that keep airplanes communicating and not flying into each other in mid-air, they leave all the technical decisions to the industry committees who define the systems, and just have you verify you meet the industry standards. There's no reason we couldn't just report to the industry committees, with minimal changes. Did you know that the FAA has us certify radios repeatedly, for every different aircraft they might get mounted on, and the cost to put a newer design radio on an old aircraft is so high that airlines just won't do it? Why have standards-based acceptance if you then have to certify on each aircraft? Why not just go to the airframe maker and prove you work on their plane? It's needless duplication of efforts.
NASA needs to go. This pains me for many reasons. I grew up in the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo days and idolized them. I've worked on a NASA satellite, for the JPL, with people who put satellites out at Jupiter. But events this year have proven that they lost their recipe sometime long ago. Then, of course, there's this abomination. Buh-bye.
And don't get me started on the government takeover of student loans. Or Amtrack. I could do weeks on this topic.