Cato Handbook for Congress: Policy Recommendations for the 106th Congress

By Edward H. Crane; David Boaz | Go to book overview

15.
Costly Agencies
Congress should
eliminate the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs;
close down major independent agencies such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Small Business Administration, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Legal Services Corporation, and the Appalachian Regional Commission; and
terminate obscure independent agencies like the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Japan–United States Friendship Commission, the Marine Mammal Commission, America's Education Goals Panel, the State Justice Institute, and the United States Institute of Peace.

Abolishing cabinet-level departments and independent agencies is an essential element of a return to constitutional government. Previous chapters in this section have called for the abolition of three cabinet agencies. That should not be construed as an endorsement of the other 11 departments. At least five of those—the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Transportation, Labor, and Veterans Affairs—should be on the chopping block as well. Arguably, there are only four departments that perform clearly federal functions, which are specifically enumerated in the Constitution: Defense, State, Justice, and Treasury.

Among the nearly 100 independent agencies that squander billions of taxpayer dollars every year there are dozens of additional candidates for elimination. The time is right for a return to a smaller, less expensive federal government. Closing down costly cabinet departments and independent agencies is an essential part of that process.


Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture pays farmers not to grow crops on their land in order to keep their selling prices high, then turns around

-175-

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Cato Handbook for Congress: Policy Recommendations for the 106th Congress
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Contents *
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Suggested Readings 9
  • 2 - Limited Government and the Rule 11
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 3 - Congress, the Courts, and the Constitution 21
  • Suggested Readings *
  • Urgent Action Agenda *
  • 4 - Social Security 47
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 5 - Fundamental Tax Reform 59
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 6 - Corporate Welfare 79
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 7 - Reclaiming the War Power 85
  • Suggested Readings *
  • Government Reform *
  • 8 - The Delegation of Legislative Powers 97
  • Suggested Readings 105
  • 9 - Term Limits and the Need for a Citizen Legislature 107
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 10 - Campaign Finance, Corruption, and the Oath of Office 119
  • Suggested Readings *
  • Federal Agencies the Abolition Agenda *
  • 11 - Department of Education 133
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 12 - Department of Commerce 141
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 13 - Department of Energy 153
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 14 - Cultural Agencies 167
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 15 - Costly Agencies 175
  • Suggested Readings *
  • Threats to Civil Liberties *
  • 16 - The Expanding Federal Police Power 181
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 17 - Privacy and Private-Sector Databases 187
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 18 - Encryption and Wiretapping 193
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 19 - Regulation of Electronic Speech 199
  • Suggested Readings 204
  • 20 - Property Rights and Regulatory Takings 205
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 21 - Tobacco and the Rule of Law 223
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 22 - The War on Drugs 233
  • Suggested Readings 240
  • 23 - Gun Control 241
  • Suggested Readings *
  • Money and Banking *
  • 24 - The Limits of Monetary Policy 247
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 25 - Financial Deregulation 257
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 26 - Securities Markets 271
  • Suggested Readings *
  • Domestic Policy *
  • 27 - The Federal Budget 279
  • Appendix - Cato Institute List of Recommended Federal Program Terminations, Fy 2000 Spending (in $ Millions) *
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 28 - Health Care 311
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 29 - Welfare 323
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 30 - Early Education and Child Care 331
  • Suggested Readings 339
  • 31 - Agricultural Policy 341
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 32 - Unemployment Insurance 347
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 33 - Tort Reform 357
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 34 - Postal Service 365
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 35 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration 377
  • Suggested Readings *
  • Regulation *
  • 36 - Regulatory Reform: No Silver Bullet 389
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 37 - Labor Relations Law 397
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 38 - Occupational Safety and Health Administration 409
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 39 - Transportation 419
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 40 - Disaster Assistance and Government Insurance 431
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 41 - Antitrust 441
  • Suggested Readings 447
  • 42 - Telecommunications 449
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 43 - The Food and Drug Administration 459
  • Suggested Readings *
  • Energy and Environment *
  • 44 - Electricity Policy 469
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 45 - Environmental Protection 475
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 46 - Environmental Health: Risks and Reality 489
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 47 - Global Warming 499
  • Suggested Readings 511
  • Foreign and Defense Policy *
  • 48 - U.S. Security Strategy 513
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 49 - The Defense Budget 519
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 50 - Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction 527
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 51 - Strategic Nuclear Forces and Missile Defense 537
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 52 - Problems with the New Nato 545
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 53 - Exiting the Balkan Morass 553
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 54 - Asian Defense Commitments 563
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 55 - The United Nations 573
  • Suggested Readings 579
  • 56 - The International War on Drugs 581
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 57 - Relations with China 591
  • Suggested Readings 598
  • 58 - Relations with Russia 599
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 59 - Relations with Cuba 609
  • Suggested Readings *
  • International Economic Policy *
  • 60 - Trade 619
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 61 - Trade Sanctions 629
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 62 - Immigration 639
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 63 - International Financial Crises and the Imf 651
  • Suggested Readings *
  • 64 - Foreign Aid and Economic Development 661
  • Suggested Readings *
  • Contributors 673
  • Cato Policy Experts 675
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