Disband and Close the Environmental Protection Agency
If you have been following my rantings and ravings over the past 15 years, you will notice that I am not a fan of the way our current government is structured or how deeply it intrudes into the lives of the American People.
While I have on occasion made a few remarks on what needs to be done to fix things, I’ve never really sat down and thought it all through. I think this is a good time to start. So, where shall I begin? How about at the beginning?
The first pace to start is with the Constitution of the United States of America. As I wrote in my previous post, the Constitution was written to restrict the powers of the United States Government, not to allow the idiots in Washington DC to run roughshod over the people. For to many decades, the Political Class has seized power and used, (some would say abused), their positions to lie, cheat and steal for their own gain. For every Ronald Reagan or George Washington, we have had a Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Warren G. Harding or Barack Obama who only cared about enriching themselves or increasing their power over others.
So, with that, lets begin to reduce the size of government and restore the nation to it’s true path. In order to do this, I will use the following standard. If it isn’t specifically authorized by the United States Constitution, it is forbidden. Since most of the functions that the Federal Government has usurped are also cabinet positions, I’ll start there.
First a list of the Cabinet positions is in order.
- Department of State
- Department of the Treasury
- Department of Defense
- Department of Justice
- Department of the Interior
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Labor
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Energy
- Department of Education
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Department of Homeland Security
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Office of Management & Budget
- United States Trade Representative
- United States Ambassador to the United Nations
- Council of Economic Advisers
Good God! A greater den of scum and villainy is no where to be found. One look and you can see most of these cabinet posts are for agencies that have not been authorized by the Constitution. The easy ones to keep are State, Treasury, Defense, and Justice. Those departments and duties are specified in the Constitution of the United States. The rest? Not that I recall.
I’ll start with the “Low Hanging Fruit” as it were. The Department of Labor. No where in the Constitution does it authorize the Federal Government to have anything to do with labor. At best this would be a state function. Here’s a brief history of the Labor Department.
The bill establishing the Department of Labor was signed on March 4, 1913, by President William Howard Taft, the defeated and departing incumbent just hours before Woodrow Wilson took office. Although Taft had misgivings about creating a new Cabinet-level Department, he realized that the new Congress and new President would surely reenact it if he did apply a veto. A Federal Department was the direct product of a half-century campaign by organized labor for a “Voice in the Cabinet.” Also, the Department was an indirect product of the Progressive Movement of the early 1900s which promoted the achievement of better working conditions, conservation of natural resources and a host of other goals through both private and government action.1
In other words, this was one of the first paybacks by the Progressives, Socialists and Marxists to the Unions. They wrapped it all up in a nice sounding package and made it look like they were helping the “Working Man.” Like they actually gave a damn about the average working stiff.
So here is the first department we can abolish. Flat out close it down, lay off all the employees and turn over any assets to the General Accounting Office for disposal. All rules, regulations etc. are immediately rendered null and void. All laws enabling this department and its “work” are repealed. We’ll save billions of dollars in government expenditures right off the bat.
“But, But what about all those evil corporations that will now be able to abuse the workers? We need to protect the workers from unsafe workplace environments and insure fair treatment! Etc. etc. etc.”
First, this would be something handled by the workers themselves. If the work environment is that bad, quit and get another job. If you are being abused by your employer, sue their asses off. This happens all the time. While I detest unions, this is a perfect place for them with regards to “protecting the working man.” Of course, that would mean that unions would actually be willing to represent their membership instead of looting them for their own enrichment.
“But, but, without the power of the government, the unions won’t be able to do anything! All the gains they’ve made required help from the government!”
Tough! Life isn’t fair. If the Unions can’t or won’t do the job, then they lose, pure and simple. The reason for unions and also for the Labor Department was to protect workers who either didn’t speak English very well, (or at all), were illiterate or flat out ignorant of their rights as Americans.
I also believe that this should be a state issue, not a federal one. At best, the Federal Government can work with the States to coordinate any laws and regulations. However, if a State should choose to opt out, so be it. If a company that abuses it’s work force should start to suffer a high turnover rate, they will soon find themselves out of business. Today’s jobs are generally skilled and significantly above the level of “Ditch digging.” An employer who cheats his/her workers and has to replace them when they quit is going to have a major issue as their reputation gets out. Take a look at the early days of the Ford Motor Corporation.
Henry Ford was noted for paying above the normal scale for his workers. To quote the well known source of misinformation on the internet:
Ford astonished the world in 1914 by offering a $5 per day wage, which more than doubled the rate of most of his workers. (Using the consumer price index, this was equivalent to $111.10 per day in 2008 dollars.) The move proved extremely profitable; instead of constant turnover of employees, the best mechanics in Detroit flocked to Ford, bringing their human capital and expertise, raising productivity, and lowering training costs. Ford called it “wage motive.”2,3
Henry Ford understood that taking care of his workforce meant they would take care of his company. Ford was one of the last auto companies to be organized by the United Auto Workers. The main reasons were Ford’s antipathy to unions in general and the lack of his employees need for one.
Another department we can do without is the Environmental Protection Agency. There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution regarding “Protecting the environment.” I will grant you that the founders never thought there was a need, since they did write the document before the industrial age. In fact, if they saw what a mess was made by industrial pollution, they might have come up with a few basic rules. However, they would be appalled at what the EPA is doing today.
The EPA was originally set up in 1970 to clean up the pollution in the air, ground and water, and to regulate business to keep them from polluting any further. Here is some of the propaganda from the EPA’s own web site:
The official birthday of EPA is December 2, 1970. Like any other birth, EPA’s needed progenitors, and a family tree stretching back for years. Surely no factor was more pivotal in the birth of EPA than decades of rampant and highly visible pollution. But pollution alone does not an agency make. Ideas are needed–better yet a whole world view–and many environmental ideas first crystallized in 1962.
That year saw the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, first in serial form in the New Yorker and then as a Houghton Mifflin best seller. This exhaustively researched, carefully reasoned, and beautifully written attack on the indiscriminate use of pesticides was not exactly light reading. Yet it attracted immediate attention and wound up causing a revolution in public opinion.4
You can read more at the EPA’s web site. Be sure to read this on an empty stomach and have a bowl with you just in case. The official history is nothing more then a leftists idea of the birth of a bureaucracy. The only thing missing is a sound loop of Kumbaya. :p
In the 40 years of its existence, the EPA has become one of the most tyrannical of the government agencies. It is staffed by “True Believers” who think it is their mission to return the United States to a pre-human condition. (The less radical ones would just like to return it to a pre-European condition when the natives communed with nature and all lived in harmony with Gaia)
The EPA has taken it upon its self to regulate every aspect of life in the United States. Little things like The Constitution, the law, the elected representatives, mean nothing to them. Anything that gets in their way is to be crushed.
Let’s take a look at the most recent things the EPA has done.5
- They have managed to get Carbon Dioxide declared a pollutant.
- They are in the process of regulating dust on farms.
- They prevented attempts at mitigating the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
- They are blocking permits for surface mining of coal in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.
- They are trying to limit the use of de-icing fluid used by airlines.
- They are also setting fuel economy standards for automobiles.
In all of this, science plays little or no part. In many cases the EPA’s regulation are a complete waste of money and dangerous to human life.
A recent court decision stupidly gave the EPA the right to regulate greenhouse gases. This has led to a major fight between the State of Texas and the EPA.
The Obama administration, under the direction of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, started it all December 7. Jackson ruled that carbon dioxide, a necessary component to life itself, is a greenhouse gas and a “pollutant” and should be regulated by the federal government under the Clean Air Act.6
This has led to EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz to direct the EPA to rescind a permit issued by the State of Texas, because Texas is not following the Clean Air Act requirements.
The EPA’s unprecedented action impacts the Flint Hills Resources refinery in Corpus Christi, which has been operating under permits issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) since 1952. Now, the 300,000-barrel-per-day refinery, which has spent more than $2.8 billion since 1981 on “significant environmental upgrades,” must try to get a federal permit for the first time in Texas history to stay in business.
Armendariz indicated that his EPA enforcers also could be requiring federal permits of the remainder of refineries, chemical plants and other industrial facilities in Texas and the other states in Region 6. The State of Texas replied in their pleasantly unique way. They told the EPA they would not comply and to go pound sand.7
The EPA is a classic case of an out of control bureaucracy that is ignoring science, common sense and more importantly, the United States Congress and the rule of law. In my opinion this agency can not be reformed and should be disbanded and all employees terminated from government employment. The most recent budget for the EPA is over $10 BILLION DOLLARS.8 This does not take into account the costs of complying with their diktats, regulations and general stupidity.
The Labor Department’s budget request for 2011 is $117 BILLION DOLLARS!9 This is actually a 32% reduction from last year, but only due to the money for the phony baloney stimulus having run out. As I’ve shown, this department is nothing more then a sop to the Unions and is obsolete. It would be far better to close the Labor Department, terminate the employees and use the savings to pay down the enormous debt run up by the Democrat congress and the Obama Administration. There is no basis in the United States Constitution for the existence of either of these two entities.
In Part Two, when I get around to writing it, I’ll look at the Departments of Energy and Education. Another pair of unconstitutional agencies and a total waste of valuable taxpayer money.
~The Angry Webmaster~
Last week the EPA sent up a request for comment on banning lead based bullets. Since ALL ammunition is based on lead, except armor piercing rounds, this was a back door attempt to suppress the second amendment. This attempt was quickly shot down of course, but it does show the utter contempt for the Constitution the employees of this agency have.10
Since the November Election, and the smack down of the Democrats, the EPA has basically declared war on Texas. The EPA has declared that Texas will have no say in how new or upgraded plants will be regulated.11 All I can say is, this is going to get really ugly really fast. This could result in the first test of the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives. In order to stop this power grab, they may have to threaten to totally defund this agency. (All spending bills originate in the house of Representatives)
If the EPA is allowed to continue, Texas may take matters into their own hands and outright refuse Washington’s decrees. This will start a full blown constitutional crises and considering how many states flipped in the recent election, Texas may not be alone in fighting back.
Popcorn is on sale now.
- A Brief History of the Department of Labor [↩]
- Henry Ford, $5 a day [↩]
- Henry Ford Labor Philosophy [↩]
- The Birth of the EPA [↩]
- The EPA Monster, CNSNews.com [↩]
- From Texas vs. EPA war becomes an air battle impacting jobs, Ft Worth Business Press [↩]
- Letter from the State of Texas to the Environmental Protection Agency (PDF) [↩]
- Budget of the EPA [↩]
- Dept. of Labor budget [↩]
- The Weekly Standard: Environmental Protection Agency Reviewing Petition to Ban Lead Bullets [↩]
- EPA-Texas Feud Escalates Over New Carbon Regulations [↩]