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Bureaucracies never die

March 30, 2010

Government institutions have a tendency to continue to exist long after their usefulness or original purpose is gone. They continue to exist whether they are successful or not. Remember that the original purpose of the Energy Department was to wean us off foreign energy? These organizations build up a constituency who lobby to keep them going and Congress is easily persuaded to throw good taxpayer money after bad. A rare exception was the National Recovery Administration–but the Supreme Court had to declare it unconstitutional in order to kill it.

Of course, this is exactly what the Democratic socialists who run the government  are counting on.  Now that the health care law is enacted, they hope the reported 110 new boards and other goodies will prove impossible to kill. Even worse, they have shown the danger of permitting sometimes obscure, arcane and even irrelevant government agencies to continue to exist. An example that came to light this week is the expansion of the Public Health Service–removing all manpower caps and making them liable to involuntary call to active service

during national emergencies and public health crises, similar to the uniformed service reserve personnel;… be available for backfilling critical positions left vacant during deployment of active duty Commissioned Corps members, as well as for deployment to respond to public health emergencies, both foreign and domestic;

It’s on pp.1312-1315 of the 2400 page bill. Do you think the Democrats have a purpose in mind for these officers beyond that of the current staff? I don’t mention this to disparage the PHS or its current mission or to question why this service exists or whether its functions duplicate those of other agencies. You can go to their site and judge that for yourself.

My point is that because it exists it can easily be re-purposed. I’ve been thinking about this re-purposing for a while now. It is clearly one of the strategies of the left as they seek to  subvert everything to their cause. It is easier to subvert an existing agency than to create a new one–and it attracts a lot less attention.

The only solution is to starve the beast: cut the funding and let these organizations wither and die. It will be good for the bottom line, too.

One Comment
  1. Leonard Legg permalink
    April 1, 2010 6:20 pm

    The brown shirts are coming

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