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Subject:  Re: smaller government, DrB? Date:  5/16/2013  12:13 PM
Author:  1poorguy Number:  423068 of 445586

OK...I get to run to the lab and play with copious amounts of HF. (yea) But I think I can get a reply done before I run off.

The other poster addressed the numbers exceedingly well. So I'll keep this more qualitative.

What if we just put the size of government back to where it was then and make trims and adjustments?

Because things have changed. Society has changed. There are new challenges. There are a lot more older people now that boomers like you are retiring. Let's take this to an extreme to illustrate the point. "Why don't we take it back to the budget from 1800?" Well...lessee...in 1800 there were no airplanes, so no need for an FAA or NTSB. There wasn't much industry yet, things were still mostly agrarian, so no OSHA. Phones, radios, TV, etc? Nope. No need for the FCC. Freeways? For what? Horses don't need freeways. And would FDA have been needed to approve leeches? Probably not. Etc, etc.

We've come a long way since 1800. There's a lot more that government needs to do that ONLY government can do. It's not as dramatic a change since 1990, but there are still a variety of new challenges as society evolves. Genetic patents, rights for gay people, and a host of other things. Government needs to be bigger because it needs to do more. Heck, on NPR this morning they had an analyst on who was saying that we are expecting more from the IRS while cutting their budget, so of course they took short-cuts and we ended up with profiling. And that certainly is plausible (no, I don't want this to turn into an IRS thread...just citing a possible example).

A couple of programs that have come up before: Planned Parenthood and Sesame Street. I'm a fan of both abortion and Big Bird, but neither should be on the Federal dole. A multi-year HHS study has shown that Head Start is ineffective (this we find out after decades and billions of dollars).

If we had single-payer comprehensive coverage we wouldn't need Planned Parenthood. So if we can get the former, then I agree with you. Otherwise Planned Parenthood is the only medical care that literally millions of women ever receive. Sesame Street? You mean the CPB, of course. CPB is vital. It is a source of programming that is not beholden to corporate sponsorship (or at least not for-profit corporate sponsorship). Fox would never produce a program like NOVA, and if they did it would probably question established science instead of explain it.

If Head Start doesn't work, figure out why and fix it. Or toss it if it can't be fixed.

On a smaller scale, why should the Feds be regulating magician's rabbits? Why should raisin farmers be required to turn over a large portion of their crop every year to the USDA (a case going to the Supreme Court)?

I'm not familiar with either, so can't comment. I'm sure there was a reason. The question is whether or not the reason makes sense today.

On a larger scale, all ag subsidies should be phased out.

Absolutely. No argument from me. They once served a purpose, but I believe it is now obsolete.

The Education department should be eliminated. Education works fine at a local and state level.

Ummmmmm...no. Absolutely, completely, totally, couldn't-be-more wrong. I need only point at the Kansas School Board, the Dover School Board, and the Texas School Board. State and local is breathtakingly incompetent, and incredibly easy to stuff with ideologues who have no clue what the hell they're doing (or worse, have an actual evil agenda as was the case with the boards I listed). This leads to pockets of kids (tens or hundreds of thousands of them) who are, for all practical purposes, not getting an education. Why should 1poorkid get a solid education while some kid from Texas learns that Adam rode around on a stegosaurus? That's hardly fair to the Texan kid.

No. This is one area the federal government should get MUCH BIGGER. The responsibility for education should be taken away from local bodies entirely. They have demonstrated a lack of consistency and general incompetence. The feds can impose a single standard that ALL schools must meet, and they can be sure that all schools receive adequate funding even if the school is in a very poor area where the local taxes don't even begin to cover the costs.

More later.

I'm sure I'll read it later. I'm off to try and not die from HF exposure (and then I have a meeting).

1poorguy
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