Myrtle Beach, SC, Orlando, FL November 5, 2015
Gastonia, NC Correspondent-Eliminating a government department is a favorite headline-grabbing canard used by lower-tier presidential candidates looking to woo that sector of the electorate who think the Kardashians are American royalty and Olive Garden is real Italian food.
The simple fact is that, bloated as it is and as inefficient as it can be, our government by and large does what we ask it to do. Yes, it’s a gigantic operation, and there are individual parts of specific departments which could be given the heave-ho, but just try lopping off, say, the Department of Transportation.
Sure, every state has its own highway department, and they do a pretty fair job (except in South Carolina) of keeping up the roads, but the truly big projects require federal assistance and oversight. You might have heard of the Interstate Highway System? That’s federal money there. If anything, Transportation needs a big boost in funding before we get to watch all our bridges tumble into our rivers and our freeways decay into gravel.
How about education? Surely the states and local municipalities can handle all that, right? What can the federal government do that my local school board can’t?
How about you go check Google News for “Texas school book battle.” Go ahead. I’ll wait. The feds are there to make sure that your kid gets as good an education as kids in the other 49 states. It doesn’t always work perfectly, and the charter school experiment has complicated things even further, but it by far beats not having any oversight at all.
Pick a department, and I can guarantee it does something that affects your daily life. The depth and breadth of the governmental octopus is staggering, but it does what we pay it to do. And all those inefficiencies give the budget “hawks” something to sink their talons into so they don’t touch our favorite entitlements.
Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-There are a number of government departments or agencies that need to be eliminated due to their excessive regulations, bureaucratic influence, fraud, terrible waste and abuse of taxpayer funds. One such agency, which is one of the most harmful to citizens and the country in general, is the Department of Education.
The Department of Education is an unconstitutional creation, as education was never mentioned in the Constitution itself, and such a concept was thought to hinder the control of schools by local authorities. In its 1996 platform, the Republican Party stated, “The Federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in school curricula or to control jobs in the marketplace.” In spite of many years of resistance to the development of such a department, under various presidents, the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) was established as a cabinet of the government and operated from 1953 through 1979. In 1979, under the Carter administration, a separate department was created through the Department of Education Organization Act and was named the Department of Education (ED). Carter advanced the act in return for political support received by the teachers’ unions in 1976.
The department was originally formed as an administrative and information gathering body to determine how well its specialized programs and educational grants were performed. In addition, the department awarded Pell grants and federal financial aid through student loans, and managed individual state policies concerning educational discrimination.
The difficulties with this department stem from its huge expenditures, waste of taxpayer dollars and failed programs. Its original budget was set at $12 billion and has risen from $13.1 billion in 1980 to its present levels of $141 billion in 2015. Despite these astronomical figures, test scores for students in math, reading and science have flat lined or gone into decline over the last forty years. In spite of continued upward spending per student, nothing has occurred to improve educational outcomes.
To go along with the Department of Education’s ongoing costs, funds distributed through the so-called 2009 Stimulus and Jobs bill created a payoff to teachers’ unions whose dues, in effect, eventually filtered through Democrat campaign coffers. Continuing this abuse of power through teacher organizations has nothing to do with improving education and the proper functions of the Department of Education.
Another reason for abolishment is the Department of Education’s lack of support and disinterest in the advancement of school choice and vouchers. It has fought against school choice in every way possible and fails to listen to expert advice on the success of such programs for students and lacks the true incentive for the promotion of education advancement.
As anyone in the financing of higher education understands, student loan programs and financial aid through the Department of Education have escalated beyond control. Students graduating with college degrees and advanced degrees are unable to find commensurate employment, and they are thus defaulting on loan payments. Loan debt has gone beyond the controllable stage and defaults are at an all-time high. Present manipulations and regulatory measures by the Department of Education to minimize defaults have not proved to be entirely workable for those affected.
The education of today’s children is critical to the survival of our country’s intellectual, moral, social and political structure, and the whole process is much too important to be left to such a runaway federal agency. The results have been detrimental due to falling educational outcomes, loan defaults, huge taxpayer funded programs, such as “No Child Left Behind,” along with the overall belief that bureaucrats cannot possibly formulate educational plans and curriculum that fulfill the individual needs of school aged children and young adults throughout the country. The federal role in education must be assumed at the state and local level in order to reestablish a competent and efficient educational system. The department requires a serious overhaul or complete abolishment in order to achieve successful educational outcomes at all levels.
Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent- Would you deliberately cut off a limb, reasoning that it’s not a necessary member of your body? Unless you weren’t sound in mind, the thought of decapitating your body parts would seem alluring, even fun. With that said, it’s the same with various departments and government agencies serving our country today. Like each organ and sense our bodies posses, these governmental agencies play their part in society. This stands to show that they are important to our country and its continual development. They should not be eliminated.
Let me demonstrate why our departments and agencies should not be eliminated. Think about the IRS. That government agency represents the US and efforts to efficiently collect tax and make enforcement of the law. Without that agency, would we be able to enjoy the good roads we drive on daily? Would we be able to create adequate health services for the public? Would we be able to offer our children proper education through our taxes or even benefit from welfare?
Paying our taxes ensure that our society maintains a high standard and the people get what they’re contributing to. Tell me, would you love to have this service eliminated? What would the aftermath be?