I just received an e-mail message from a friend of mine. It is an article that was written by Charles Owens, who is the Michigan director for the National Federation of Independent Business. The article talks about the shut down of the Federal Government.
So let's take a look at the “non-essential” federal workers that have been laid off with the government shutdown. This shows just how far the government has come to growing to the point of bloat.
Consumer Product Safety Commission- 22 out of 540 employees are deemed “essential”. These 22 people will focus on analysis of defective products. In addition, they will co-ordinate recalls and monitor imports. This department was not created until 1972. The department regulates the sale and manufacture of more than 15,000 consumer products. These products range from cribs to all terrain vehicles. It is a regulator of products. There are products that don't fall under the CPSC, they have different departments that regulate them, they are, for automobiles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, guns are regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and drugs are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. They learn about unsafe products by maintaining a consumer hot line and a web site. In addition, they monitor reports from emergency rooms through the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). They collect data on consumer related injuries treated in emergency rooms and then generate national estimates. Why should it take 540 people to answer telephones, issue recalls and monitor imports?
Department of Commerce- This department was created on February 14, 1903. They currently employee over 46,000 workers and from the furlough they will lay off 40,000 people. Research activities at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be suspended and all U. S. Census Bureau activities will be stopped. America survived from 1775 until 1903 without the Department of Commerce. This department was created to create jobs, promote economic growth, encourage development and improve standards of living for all Americans. Well in light of our current situation I would say this Department gets a failing grade. The jobs they apparently created were for themselves. So now we will have only 6000 of them.
Department of Energy- maintains a workforce of more than 13,800, of that, approximately 8,500 workers will be furloughed. The ones that remain will focus on facility protection and the nation's nuclear program. Advanced energy research and vehicle technologies program will be put on hold.
In 1942, during World War II, the United States began the Manhattan Project. This was a project to develop the atomic bomb. It was directed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. After the war the Atomic Energy Commission was created to control the future of the project. It was re-instated and gave way to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission was assigned the duty of regulating the Nuclear Power Industry, and the Energy Research and Development Administration. The Energy Research and Development Administration was created to manage the nuclear weapon, naval reactor and energy development programs. During the 1973 oil crisis attention was called to the need to consolidate energy policy. On August 4, 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed into law, The Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977, (Pub L. 95-91, 91 Stat. 565). This created the Department of Energy. This department consolidated the Federal Energy Administration, the Energy Research and Development Administration and the Federal Power Commission, and programs of other agencies.
The Department of Energy sponsors more research in physical science than any other agency in the Federal government. The majority of this research is conducted through the United States Department of Energy National Laboratories.
Department of Housing and Urban Development- approximately 4% of HUD's 8,700 workers are exempted. Basically, 96% of this department is considered “non-essential”. Let's not forgot the role HUD played with Fannie Mae, Ginne Mae, etc, that assisted with causing the housing market collapse. (you can read more about Fannie Mae at this link: <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fannie_Mae>) Basically, they were forced to take on high risk loans by the Federal Government to provide housing for low income families.
“In 2004, Fannie Mae was under investigation for its accounting practices. The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight released a report on September 20, 2004, it alleged numerous, widespread accounting errors. Fannie Mae was expected to spend more than $1 billion in 2006 alone to complete its internal audit and bring it closer to compliance. The necessary restatement was expected to cost $10.8 billion, but was completed at a total cost of $6.3 billion in restated earnings as listed in Fannie Mae's Annual Report on Form 10-K. On June 15, 2000, the Housing Banking Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities and Government Sponsored Enterprises held hearings on Fannie Mae. On December 18, 2006, U. S. regulators filed 101 civil charges against chief executive Franklin Raines, chief financial officer, J. Timothy Howard, and the former controller Leanne G. Spencer. The tree were accused of manipulating Fannie Mae earnings to maximize their bonuses. The law suit sought to recoup more than $115 million in bonus payments, collectively accrued by the trio from 1998 to 2004, and about $100 million in penalties for their involvement in the accounting scandal.” (Wikipedia, Fannie Mae) Major corruption and lies.
Environmental Protection Agency- about 93% or 15,000 EPA employees will be furloughed. They will maintain a small number of laboratory staff and emergency responders. The EPA has state and local partners, such as the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) and Superfund programs and those will continue. In Virginia, we have the Virginia Department of Occupational Safety and Health, basically a duplication of the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA began on December 2, 1970, it was an executive order signed by Richard Nixon. The agency conducts environmental assessments, research and education. It enforces national standards under different environmental laws in consultation with states, tribal and local governments. It delegates responsibility to the U. S. States and Native American tribes. Their enforcement powers include fines, sanctions, and other measures. They also work with private industry and all levels of government in voluntary pollution prevention programs and energy conservation efforts. In addition, they contract workers. More than half of their employees are engineers, scientists, environmental protection specialists, legal workers, public affairs workers, financial and information technologists. This department with its many regulations has assisted in preventing job creation and economic development.
National Labor Relations Board- in this department there are only 11 employees out of 16,011 that are deemed “non-essential”. This department started in 1933, but it is basically not necessary. It was developed because there were problems at the time with Unions and worker relations and enforcement of collective bargaining agreements. The Unions basically perform this function today.
Internal Revenue Service- 90% of the IRS work force will be furloughed. It has recently been brought to light that they want to hire more IRS workers to enforce the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. They want to hire auditors to make sure that employers are complying with the new complexity of this new regulation that is going to cause insurance premiums to go up and stagnate jobs. If the tax code were fixed, we would not need so many employees in the Internal Revenue Service.
So I was looking at the Virginia Unemployment site and they have a big message on there for Government furloughed workers, of course they will receive unemployment benefits, and there has even been a mention of paying them back pay if they are called back to work. Do we need a park ranger to go to a Federal park to look at trees? The bottom line is that the U. S. Government is too big, we are top heavy.
You can read more here: <www.dykema.com/resources-alerts-us-government-shuts-down-what-fed...
This website covers more departments that will be affected by the shutdown. The Government needs to perform a thorough review. Private industry does not behave the way our monstrous Government behaves. Here in Norfolk they are complaining at the Federal Court House because they are down to bare minimums. I am sure if they were working for a private law firm they would be taking work home with them and working all hours of the night and day.
Thank you Charles Owens, Michigan National Federation of Independent Business.