Bureaucracy 101

      In my last post I made some comments about the Federal Bureaucracy. Afterwards I decided to educate myself on what I meant. A search was in order to learn just how many bureaucracies we have. We all know about a few that I list here:

Plus a few more like:

  • The internal Revenue Service
  • Justice Department
  • Supreme Court
  • Social Security Administration
  • Bureau of Veteran Affairs
  • Treasury Department.

       All of the above agencies are mentioned frequently in the news, and I thought they were the only ones. Then, I made the mistake of searching the government websites for information on how many there are. I was amazed. The first page of the website

https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/

was a table by alphabet. Clicking on a letter yields a list of agencies with names beginning with the letter selected. I can create a table showing you just how many agencies there are listed under each letter of twenty-two alphabet, but it will be easier to click on the link and go there yourself. The letters Q, X, Y, & Z were not on the list. I counted the agencies and got a sum of 629. No wonder no one wants to tackle the problem of reducing government spending. At first glance the problem seems to be insurmountable.

      How do bureaucracies begin? It is simple. When Congress passes a law to spend money on something like Civil Rights they need a way to implement the law. They hire people to put the law in place and to enforce it. That act becomes a new bureaucracy. I have never seen a Bureaucracy disbanded or a law repealed in my lifetime. The only law I know that was repealed was Prohibition.

      In my job as an engineer, I was introduced to the Pareto-Principle by one Joe Duran a American Quality Control guru who converted the Japanese car industry to the QC system that would reverse their shitty cars into the most sought-after vehicles in the world. The Pareto Principle was invented by an Italian engineer in the 1800’s. Basically it states that 80% of the benefit comes from 20% of the effort. My first step in analyzing this problem of bureaucracy is to use the 80/20 rule on the whole problem.

      The total budget for the federal government is $4.829 trillion. Applying the Pareto Principle to the budget means that we spend .9658 trillion to get 80 percent of the services, and flush 3.8632 trillion dollars down the drain for twenty percent of service. How smart is that? Why our simple-minded politicians can’t wrap their brains around that is astounding. All I can figure with my feeble old brain is that it is too hard for Congress to undo what they have already approved.  

      After a few seconds of research on the web I found some suggestions for how Congress can restrain executive agencies.

 By:

  • revising statutes that established the agency’s mission.
  • exercising control over an agency’s budget.
  • conducting audits or holding hearings.
  • influencing the selection of agency directors (Senate)

      Would it be a wet dream to believe that 469 Congressmen and 100 Senators could take on 503 Government agencies to reduce spending? In my book that is 503/569 = 0.884 agencies per Congressional seat. If a single Congressman can’t reduce costs of an assigned agency by eighty percent by the end of his first term he should pack up his bags and let someone in who knows how to do the job. That objective should be written in the job description.

      I know, I know, a single Congressman cannot cut costs by himself. We are a country of laws and a Congressman’s responsibility is to draft laws to get things done. Well, with that in mind, a Congress-person can write a law to cut the costs and present it to the legislature for approval. Of course, if the law does not pass those that voted against the law will have to come up against you to pass theirs. Since your jobs depend on cutting costs. It won’t take long for Congress to get the idea, and begin to cooperate with each other.

      My whole plan depends on people who run for office wanting to save the country, and stop inflation by reducing government spending. It also depends on us (We, the People) to pick the right individuals at election time. If we don’t like who is running, maybe we should throw our own hat into the ring.

Here are a few more goals to think about using the 80/20 rule:

  • Eighty percent of the benefit comes from 126 Agencies. Eliminate the remaining 503. Which ones would you save?
  • Cut the Federal Budget by twenty-five percent to save 1.2 trillion dollars.
  • Use the savings to pay off the National Debt over thirty years.
  • Cut the federal budget another 25% to save 905 billion dollars, and return it to the tax payers.

Think of all the money that would put in your pocket. A total of $905,000,000,000/350,000,000 = $2585.71 would go to each member of the population.

Instead of setting goals such as I have listed we will get nonsense like printing more dollars to pay bills. Since President Nixon finally ended the Gold standard in 1971 the US dollar has lost 70% of its value meaning one dollar can only buy thirty cents worth of goods today as it could in 1971.

      Our current inflation rate exceeds 11% and is climbing. If it rises higher the USA will go bankrupt, and I don’t want to live to see that happen.

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