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« WPR's The New Rules: Globalization in a Post-Hegemonic World | Main | Catching a glimpse of new World Trade Center "Freedom Tower" construction »
10:27AM

Wikistrat post @ CNN-GPS: What should the government cut?

Editor’s Note: The following piece, exclusive to GPS, comes from Wikistrat, the world's first massively multiplayer online consultancy.  It leverages a global network of subject-matter experts via a crowd-sourcing methodology to provide unique insights.

America is in the midst of yet another long-term government deficit problem that we once thought we had licked in the go-go Nineties.  Remember when we were going to retire the federal debt?

Just like back then, political candidates now regularly foam at the mouth about which “redundant” federal agencies they’d whack the minute they set foot inside the Beltway. This begs the question: What activities are inherently federal?

According to the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution, the legitimate candidates should cover one of the following goals:

  • Form a more perfect union
  • Establish justice
  • Ensure domestic tranquility
  • Provide for the common defense
  • Promote the general welfare, and
  • Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity...

Hmmm.  Not as clear as one might hope for.

Like most people, we spot a lot of wiggle room in that list, so this week’s Wikistrat exercise involves asking our global community of experts what should be kept and what should be ditched in the coming federal budget wars. The following is our list of lists!

Read the entire post at CNN's GPS blog.

Reader Comments (2)

Coast Guard: Instead of sending it back to its previous Department, I'd make it an independent agency. Why? It intercepts sea-going terrorists for Homeland Security, icebergs and endangered vessels for Transport and Commerce, illegal aliens for immigration, smugglers for several other agencies . . . Anything any government agency wants done in domestic waters that can't be contracted to civilians, the USCG is called. It should be able to fight the bureaucratic battles on an equal footing with them.

Postal Service: Is it dead, or just neglected? If the rumor I heard is true that they are required to turn a cut of the profits over to Congress, then eliminate that rule and see if they do better. If not, ask why the FFs started the USPS to begin with and whether that reason still stands.

Veterans Affairs: Agreed, with the caveat that separate hospitals and/or clinics should still be available for vets who are too far from military hospitals and suffering from problems the civilian hospitals can't handle.

OSHA/NIOSH: Should be put under the same agency; as it stands, enforcement is done by Labor but the research they need is done by the CDC!

Intelligence: not the change I'd make. Way I see it, lots of different agencies can be a good thing; more PoV on a given subject and more opportunities for the Washington decision makers to find out what they need to know. The only problem is communication with each other; I'd split most of CIA's resources amongst other Departments and agencies, leaving only the analysis arm and the Director.
Their job would be to: study the data coming from other agencies, passing along what they think needs passing around and encouraging them to do their own passing around and cooperating, alerting the Power that Be to potential threats and opportunities the other agencies haven't noticed and giving advise on budgetary matters.

April 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Hrm.

"Department of Veterans Affairs: This is mostly about a ghettoized healthcare system for veterans. It’s not a good one and shouldn’t be continued. Yes, honor their service, but simply pay for good care in the private healthcare system."

What's your source for the negative assessment? A google of "va hospitals vs private sector hospitals" gets hits from a number of sources (BusinessWeek, Time, NY Times, Washington Monthly, LA Times, Fortune) almost uniformly saying care by the VA is equal or better than the private sector, while being less expensive on a per patient basis.

To anticipate, Walter Reed was DoD, not VA.

So... Sell me. Where's the data?

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHal O'Brien

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