The Size and Complexity of the U.S. Federal Government

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#1 Edited by BluRayHiDef (10839 posts) -

Do you think the U.S. Federal Government is too large and complex in regard to the number of agencies and departments it's composed of, and that it should be made smaller and simplified? I ask this because I decided to look up information on the U.S. Marshals Service on Wikipedia and wound up on an article about Federal Law Enforcement Agencies; I was shocked at just how many there are. To name a few, some of which are well known, there is the F.B.I., the aforementioned U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol-Tobacco-Firearms-and-Explosives, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Park Police, Department of Homeland Security, the Postal Inspection Service, etc, etc, etc.

You can click on the following link to see a list of all Federal Agencies. It's insanely long.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_law_enforcement_in_the_United_States#List_of_agencies_and_units_of_agencies

#2 Edited by chrisrooR (9027 posts) -

No. Trying to centralize all of those agencies would be an absolute clusterfuck.

#3 Posted by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

What good would that do?

#4 Posted by whipassmt (14035 posts) -

overall yes. Too large, too powerful and too expensive. I'm sure there are some agencies that could be scaled back a bit.

#5 Edited by outworld222 (2429 posts) -

Yes and no. Bill Clinton was right when he said "the era of big government is over." Unfortunately after he left office, its gotten so big and so out of control.

#6 Posted by BluRayHiDef (10839 posts) -

@whipassmt: Yea, it's very expensive to maintain. Those departments get a minimum annual budget of $1 Billion each, which is insane.

#7 Posted by ristactionjakso (5742 posts) -

Yes, its way to phucking big.

#8 Edited by The-Apostle (12190 posts) -

Yes, it's far too large. However, only an idiot would combine them all.

#9 Edited by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

Funny how England offers its citizens more rights today. Pretty interesting we have victimless/self-harm laws when America was initially about generally welfare and liberty.

Founding fathers must be turning in their grave.

#10 Posted by GOGOGOGURT (4470 posts) -

We could eliminate more than half of our committees, agencies, and bureaucracies, and be fine. It would also bring us out of debt.

We need to lose some weight. It hasn't gotten bad enough yet for congress to do it, however. It will happen eventually.

#11 Posted by The-Apostle (12190 posts) -

@Fightingfan said:

Funny how England offers its citizens more rights today. Pretty interesting we have victimless/self-harm laws when America was initially about generally welfare and liberty.

Founding fathers must be turning in their grave.

That and also it's sad that we've strayed so far away from the constitution. I firmly believe that the only way to save this country is to return to it.

#12 Edited by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

@The-Apostle said:

@Fightingfan said:

Funny how England offers its citizens more rights today. Pretty interesting we have victimless/self-harm laws when America was initially about generally welfare and liberty.

Founding fathers must be turning in their grave.

That and also it's sad that we've strayed so far away from the constitution. I firmly believe that the only way to save this country is to return to it.

Yeah, it's one of the reasons deterring me from joining the military. I can't support/become part of the machine.

#13 Posted by airshocker (29928 posts) -

It's obviously too big. Not sure what can be done to reasonably make it smaller and more cost-effective.

#14 Edited by MakeMeaSammitch (3953 posts) -

People always whine the the government is too big, but they never offer solutions or even suggestions on what to cut, other than military.

From what I've seen it's been cut to the bone, and is much smaller than most modern governments. While there is some cleaning up that could be done, I think the bigger issue is just whiney people.

I read through this thread, and what I said was confirmed.

People complaining without actually suggesting solutions, and apostle, I think you need to actually read the constitution. Don't just be one of those people that says such and such violates the constitution while never knowing what's in it.

#15 Edited by buccomatic (1941 posts) -

@BluRayHiDef said:

Do you think the U.S. Federal Government is too large and complex in regard to the number of agencies and departments it's composed of, and that it should be made smaller and simplified? I ask this because I decided to look up information on the U.S. Marshals Service on Wikipedia and wound up on an article about Federal Law Enforcement Agencies; I was shocked at just how many there are. To name a few, some of which are well known, there is the F.B.I., the aforementioned U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol-Tobacco-Firearms-and-Explosives, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Park Police, Department of Homeland Security, the Postal Inspection Service, etc, etc, etc.

You can click on the following link to see a list of all Federal Agencies. It's insanely long.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_law_enforcement_in_the_United_States#List_of_agencies_and_units_of_agencies

the federal government is too big and too authoritarian. they either create the problems they solve, so as to keep themselves employed and empowered, or they are too corrupt and backwards to have a legitimate reason to exist. our politicians are all pro israeli/british/russian traitors and crooks.

REALITY.

#16 Edited by Rhazakna (11022 posts) -

@MakeMeaSammitch said:

People always whine the the government is too big, but they never offer solutions or even suggestions on what to cut, other than military.

From what I've seen it's been cut to the bone, and is much smaller than most modern governments. While there is some cleaning up that could be done, I think the bigger issue is just whiney people.

Every post of yours is just moronic status-quo apologism. Have you ever held an opinion that's outside the box, even a little bit?

What exactly has been "cut to the bone"? Every administration since World War 2 has increased spending and left the federal government bigger than they found it, including Reagan. The warfare state, the security state and the corporate state have all increased massively in the last 50 years. I know you're the type of authoritarian bootlicker who doesn't care about that stuff, but arguing the State is too small is just absurd.

I really want to understand this ridiculous narrative that fools like you put forth that the US somehow has a small government. By what metric? How are you coming to this counterfactual conclusion?

Relative comparisons of government size rank America's state as one of the biggest in the West, and that's only talking about economics. If you haven't heard any suggestions as to how to cut back, that's only because you don't pay attention, and you think your personal ignorance reflects your opponents arguments. It doesn't, you're just dumb.

#17 Posted by Serraph105 (28161 posts) -

It's an interesting question to be sure. If you equate government spending with the size of the government than the government has shrunk since this latest administration has taken office. If however you mean you mean that there are simply too many facets that covers far too many things in American life then that is a fairly different story.

Here is a graphic of all the agencies of government and what sort funding that each receives. It really puts things in perspective.

http://visual.ly/death-and-taxes-2014-us-federal-budget

#18 Posted by Serraph105 (28161 posts) -

Honestly looking at that graphic representation of the government it boggles my mind that anyone could compare something this huge to balancing a check book.

http://visual.ly/death-and-taxes-2014-us-federal-budget

#19 Posted by Person0 (2944 posts) -

@Rhazakna said:

@MakeMeaSammitch said:

People always whine the the government is too big, but they never offer solutions or even suggestions on what to cut, other than military.

From what I've seen it's been cut to the bone, and is much smaller than most modern governments. While there is some cleaning up that could be done, I think the bigger issue is just whiney people.

Every post of yours is just moronic status-quo apologism. Have you ever held an opinion that's outside the box, even a little bit?

What exactly has been "cut to the bone"? Every administration since World War 2 has increased spending and left the federal government bigger than they found it, including Reagan. The warfare state, the security state and the corporate state have all increased massively in the last 50 years. I know you're the type of authoritarian bootlicker who doesn't care about that stuff, but arguing the State is too small is just absurd.

I really want to understand this ridiculous narrative that fools like you put forth that the US somehow has a small government. By what metric? How are you coming to this counterfactual conclusion?

Relative comparisons of government size rank America's state as one of the biggest in the West, and that's only talking about economics. If you haven't heard any suggestions as to how to cut back, that's only because you don't pay attention, and you think your personal ignorance reflects your opponents arguments. It doesn't, you're just dumb.

Well id hope that the government increases in size as population increases.

If you look of gov't spending as a % of GDP the U.S is low compared to western countries...

#20 Posted by Jimn_tonic (819 posts) -

the government itself isn't too big,it's just the amount of money that it deals with.

when Eisenhower addressed the military industrial complex, he wasn't talking about the weapons themselves (the weapons are a good thing), he was addressing the power they wield. when you look at the 1 trillion dollar American military, 1/1000th of their budget is 1 billion dollars, and that's plenty of money to convince a relativity small government to increase the budget even more, so lobbying is nothing more than an investment.

with that said, i don't think it's the government that's too big, it's the amount of money they pass around. U.S. politicians are no longer gauged by how well they represent the people who voted for them, but by how and what they spend.

#21 Posted by airshocker (29928 posts) -

@Rhazakna said:

@MakeMeaSammitch said:

People always whine the the government is too big, but they never offer solutions or even suggestions on what to cut, other than military.

From what I've seen it's been cut to the bone, and is much smaller than most modern governments. While there is some cleaning up that could be done, I think the bigger issue is just whiney people.

Every post of yours is just moronic status-quo apologism. Have you ever held an opinion that's outside the box, even a little bit?

What exactly has been "cut to the bone"? Every administration since World War 2 has increased spending and left the federal government bigger than they found it, including Reagan. The warfare state, the security state and the corporate state have all increased massively in the last 50 years. I know you're the type of authoritarian bootlicker who doesn't care about that stuff, but arguing the State is too small is just absurd.

I really want to understand this ridiculous narrative that fools like you put forth that the US somehow has a small government. By what metric? How are you coming to this counterfactual conclusion?

Relative comparisons of government size rank America's state as one of the biggest in the West, and that's only talking about economics. If you haven't heard any suggestions as to how to cut back, that's only because you don't pay attention, and you think your personal ignorance reflects your opponents arguments. It doesn't, you're just dumb.

Sometimes I really like your posts.

#22 Posted by nomsayin (1141 posts) -

@airshocker said:

@Rhazakna said:

@MakeMeaSammitch said:

People always whine the the government is too big, but they never offer solutions or even suggestions on what to cut, other than military.

From what I've seen it's been cut to the bone, and is much smaller than most modern governments. While there is some cleaning up that could be done, I think the bigger issue is just whiney people.

Every post of yours is just moronic status-quo apologism. Have you ever held an opinion that's outside the box, even a little bit?

What exactly has been "cut to the bone"? Every administration since World War 2 has increased spending and left the federal government bigger than they found it, including Reagan. The warfare state, the security state and the corporate state have all increased massively in the last 50 years. I know you're the type of authoritarian bootlicker who doesn't care about that stuff, but arguing the State is too small is just absurd.

I really want to understand this ridiculous narrative that fools like you put forth that the US somehow has a small government. By what metric? How are you coming to this counterfactual conclusion?

Relative comparisons of government size rank America's state as one of the biggest in the West, and that's only talking about economics. If you haven't heard any suggestions as to how to cut back, that's only because you don't pay attention, and you think your personal ignorance reflects your opponents arguments. It doesn't, you're just dumb.

Sometimes I really like your posts.

lulz aren't you a neoconservative?

#23 Posted by airshocker (29928 posts) -

@nomsayin said:

@airshocker said:

@Rhazakna said:

@MakeMeaSammitch said:

People always whine the the government is too big, but they never offer solutions or even suggestions on what to cut, other than military.

From what I've seen it's been cut to the bone, and is much smaller than most modern governments. While there is some cleaning up that could be done, I think the bigger issue is just whiney people.

Every post of yours is just moronic status-quo apologism. Have you ever held an opinion that's outside the box, even a little bit?

What exactly has been "cut to the bone"? Every administration since World War 2 has increased spending and left the federal government bigger than they found it, including Reagan. The warfare state, the security state and the corporate state have all increased massively in the last 50 years. I know you're the type of authoritarian bootlicker who doesn't care about that stuff, but arguing the State is too small is just absurd.

I really want to understand this ridiculous narrative that fools like you put forth that the US somehow has a small government. By what metric? How are you coming to this counterfactual conclusion?

Relative comparisons of government size rank America's state as one of the biggest in the West, and that's only talking about economics. If you haven't heard any suggestions as to how to cut back, that's only because you don't pay attention, and you think your personal ignorance reflects your opponents arguments. It doesn't, you're just dumb.

Sometimes I really like your posts.

lulz aren't you a neoconservative?

Man, you are abysmal at figuring out what other peoples political leanings are. Promise me you won't become a pundit. I don't want to see you turning tricks on the street in order to survive. =[

#24 Posted by MakeMeaSammitch (3953 posts) -

@Rhazakna said:

@MakeMeaSammitch said:

People always whine the the government is too big, but they never offer solutions or even suggestions on what to cut, other than military.

From what I've seen it's been cut to the bone, and is much smaller than most modern governments. While there is some cleaning up that could be done, I think the bigger issue is just whiney people.

Every post of yours is just moronic status-quo apologism. Have you ever held an opinion that's outside the box, even a little bit?

What exactly has been "cut to the bone"? Every administration since World War 2 has increased spending and left the federal government bigger than they found it, including Reagan. The warfare state, the security state and the corporate state have all increased massively in the last 50 years. I know you're the type of authoritarian bootlicker who doesn't care about that stuff, but arguing the State is too small is just absurd.

I really want to understand this ridiculous narrative that fools like you put forth that the US somehow has a small government. By what metric? How are you coming to this counterfactual conclusion?

Relative comparisons of government size rank America's state as one of the biggest in the West, and that's only talking about economics. If you haven't heard any suggestions as to how to cut back, that's only because you don't pay attention, and you think your personal ignorance reflects your opponents arguments. It doesn't, you're just dumb.

Sounds like somebody got some sand in their vagina. I'm gonna bet you're just the type of person who considers anybody who disagrees with them to be "inside the box". That's cool, I remember when I was a teenager.

Anyway, here's the data you assumed I didn't have. I'm surprised you couldn't figure that out on your own, pretty much every other country has universal health care, and we didn't even have that until recently.The government is going to get bigger every year because the population is growing at a quick rate by western standards. I have to look it up, but I think it's something similar to 1%, so I think it's common sense that we'd see the same amount of growth.

Love the post, I like how it attacks me without really attacking anything I've said. As for being authoritarian. Yes, I guess so, and on top of that, I do live in the real world unlike some of the idealists on here. I skimmed through this thread, and up until that post, nobody had even made the common suggestions like military or SS, so I think my saying people are just being whiny without offering solutions is about right.

That was fun :)