Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

October 7, 2013

CONFER: Non-essential parts of our federal government

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — In the weeks leading up to the so-called government shutdown we were led to believe that the Apocalypse was upon us. Not surprisingly, when it did hit, the Niagara River kept flowing, the winds didn’t stop, and, magically, the Earth kept spinning. As a matter of fact, a great majority of Americans have been mostly unaffected by the shutdown. It shows that a smaller federal government is alright.

So, what exactly would constitute a good “smaller government”? Congress doesn’t seem to know. Neither does the Obama administration. From the start of the shutdown, the powers-that-be seemed to indiscriminately determine who was essential and who wasn’t because folks whose services were truly needed (and whose duties have constitutional basis) were cast aside, while those who are deadweight (and sport unconstitutional roles) were kept.

To make a smarter, cheaper, and more constitutional federal government, one could start by permanently shutting down the following entities:

Department of Education: If you are a fan of the DOE you either, one, work for it or, two, have no understanding of how education works. Education works best at the local level, in a shared effort of caring and competent parents, district administrators, and teachers independent of some far away bureaucracy. Passionate and effective education can only be accomplished by allowing local districts to teach as they want, what they want and how they want; after all, who knows kids better than their parents and teachers? They will never create good students by being forced to teach to standards, be those standards some hare-brained expectation of what kids should know or ideals on how teachers should perform developed by someone totally removed from the art. There’s a reason why since the DOE was instituted in 1979, that America went from producing the brightest students in the world to some of the most dimwitted. The annual cost: $81.6 billion.

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