“Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations” was released today by the Trump Administration. There is nothing in this document which surprises me. It’s consistent with this administrations stated views on economics, global relations, education, social programs, and private business.
Economics should be driven by always going for the fast buck, whatever it takes. We saw this in the “Infrastructure plan,” which actually had very little to do with infrastructure and everything to do with parceling out federal land to private companies and slashing regulation willy-nilly to “increase efficiencies.”
Global relations are based on the concept of spending considerably less to forestall catastrophes, and spending more on reacting to the consequences through either self-imposed isolation or military force.
Education should require less money and more privatization. Less emphasis on advanced degrees and scientific research and more of a streamlined approach to funneling people into short-term vo-tech studies for immediate deployment into the workforce of a resource-driven economy.
Social Programs should be cut as a rule. More roadblocks should be placed to hinder access. Census data should be maintained as both a watchful eye on the populous and a threat to immigrants.
Private business can never be lavished with enough attention. Especially in oil, coal and gas. Real estate development gets a special nod and maintaining the wealth through special LLC taxbreaks and the elimination of the inheritance tax to really juice up the ever increasing disparity between the rich and the poor.
This Federal reorganization plan is the latest installment of the Trumpist ideology that we have seen in every policy, both minor and major, that they have attempted to initiate. I do not suspect much, if any of this, is going to go over well with Congress. There are some arguments to be made for efficiencies for sure; perhaps some small consolidations of duplicated effort is needed. What this document presents in the form of “recommendations,” is no small undertaking and by-and-large is ideologically driven nonsense.
Merge the Dept of Labor with the Dept of Education.
At first blush, this seems entirely insane, and guess what? It is. The main concept here is a conveyor belt from k-12 to immediate placement in the workforce, as if that is the singular and only important action of education. Here, education is viewed as the vehicle by which the “product” is most effectively delivered to it’s end goal: immediate employment and that product is tracked along the way. Special attention to be paid to “career and technical training”.
This merger would create a cacophony of problems too great to list. There’s a reason why these departments have little to do with each other. Their focuses are quite different. Whereas the Education Dept. is budgeted for overseeing the quality of education at all levels, the Dept of Labor has a wide portfolio of: unemployment insurance, office of disability, veterans services, and an entire, and very vital, umbrella of worker’s protections and safety.
Here are some buried tidbits the Trump administration would like to go about quashing involvement with higher education through “efficiencies” in this document:
Consolidation, elimination. Less complex programs first.
For someone willing to place tariffs on steel and aluminum because they pose a threat to our National safety, this administration seems really keen on turning over vital components of the country to private enterprise. The US Postal system, Air traffic control, and utilities. Also included in this document was the privatization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I didn’t copy any of that to this post.
Reduce global programs. Somehow encourage private sector involvement….like real estate development in N. Korea? : P
It’s not hard to read this and come away with an inkling of nefarious intent. Were it any other administration, we might just say…spending less is a truly awful idea, but with this administration, we can read how these are worded, and clearly see this administration would like to use foreign aid as a cudgel to attack others with. “You aren’t doing as we say, then fuck you!” A special cudgel wave at the UN in these passages, “Either do as we say or you can forget it.”
Consolidate the Census Bureau with other governmental data analysis entities. A truly dreadful idea. There’s a reason why the Census Bureau has a firewall of rules and protective laws around it, to prevent the very thing that this administration would like to do with that data. the justification, once again is “cost effectiveness,” and “synergies,” all while protecting us from the burdens.
The census was created purely to count what is, nothing else. It’s not data that should be federally combined and cross-referenced with anything else and data-mined for any governmental purpose. Where that would lead to is some truly dark places.
Consolidate Dept of Energy’s Applied Energy programs in with all other federal programs involving studies in energy.
Did you read all of that? You should. basically what it says is this: There shouldn’t be widespread research done on energy and energy sources, all of this needs to be combined. We shouldn’t spend any undue amount of effort on researching any particular types of energy, like say…renewable energies. We should look at them all at once, and whichever one is likely to generate the most money RIGHT NOW, is the one we should concentrate on, like maybe- coal, oil, and gas as just a random example.
Selling Federal lands to private enterprise.
The federal Government should just be able to sell land, period. We should remove the legal barriers around such activities that require research or reason or a necessity of replacement or any constraints.