I have long been a fan of Senator Tom Coburn and his work to showcase the government waste that is so prevalent in Washington, D.C. He isn’t necessarily involved in this story, but it goes well with the work he has done. We know the government shutdown consists of non-essential government workers staying home until the Democrats decide to stop their ridiculous mantra of “we will not negotiate” and compromise with the Republicans to pass legislation to fund the federal government. But do you realize how many government workers are staying home? Since the federal government is the nation’s largest employer, it is no surprise that the number is quite large. Some 800,000 workers are now sitting at home because of the Democrats refusal to negotiate.
While I do sympathize with their plight, back pay not withstanding, the government shutdown should serve as a mechanism to show us all just how bloated the federal government really is. Entire agencies have been shuttered because their employees are considered to be non-essential. Taken from Fox News, here are a few of the agencies that have exactly zero employees reporting for work as the government shutdown continues into its second week.
- U.S. Commission of Fine Arts
- U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
- USDA Risk Management Agency – 430 employees
- Federal Maritime Commission – 120 employees
- Census Bureau – 15,641 employees
- U.S. Economic Development Administration – 169 employees
- Minority Business Development Agency – 49 employees
- United States Department of Agriculture/Office of Ethics
- United States Department of Agriculture/Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
- United States Department of Agriculture/Office of the Chief Economist
Knowing how big the federal government is, the 800,000 non-essential workers doesn’t surprise me. We have entire government agencies that are useless in the grand scheme of what is supposed to be the federal government of the United States. Why do any of the above mentioned government agencies even exist, if their employees are non-essential? Why do we, the American taxpayer, continue to fund these agencies, when their work has nothing to do with our actual government.
There used to be a lot of talk about running the federal government like a corporation. While I believe that analogy is only partially true, it is something to think about. If the federal government conducted its business like a large corporation, it appears that cutbacks and layoffs would be in order. I believe they call it downsizing and that is exactly what our government needs. We spend a great deal of money on accomplishing nothing and then we all wonder why the government is broke. I would humbly suggest that if Washington had its house in order, biting the bullet and making the hard choice to remove the bloated agencies and their employees from the government payroll, then maybe we wouldn’t be in the financial hole we are currently in.
I have no desire to see so many people lose their jobs. I realize it would be a terrible economic blow for them and the nation would suffer pain, as a result. However, if we continue down this path, the cliff to which we are headed is looking steeper every day. We have kicked this can down the same road for decades. Sooner or later, it is going to go off said cliff and when it does, the economic pain is going to be much worse than it would have been, had our government been able to rid itself of the wasteful spending we see highlighted in this government shutdown.
This may not be a popular topic, especially if you happen to be a government worker, but it is something that needs to be considered. Might I suggest they start with the GSA?