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Department of Commerce: Cut DOC budget, with a meat axe.
March 10, 2011
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Cut DOC budget, with a meat axe.

Vic Biorseth, Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Constitutional mandate for Commerce is established in Article 1 Section 8, as follows:

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To regulate is to control by rule; to make regular and predictable; to establish and enforce a standard of operation. So a part of the constitutional government process is to regulate commerce with foreign nations, Indian tribes and between American states. This says nothing about investing in commerce, helping commerce or actually doing commerce. Nor did the Constitution Authors intend for government to regulate commerce so severely as to choke it. To “make regular” is not to severely restrict to the point of obstruction. Commerce functions best when it is most free, so long as it is honest.

Of course, DOC (Department of Commerce) comes with a thundering herd of sub-bureaus, each lead by a hierarchy of Secretaries, Undersecretaries, Deputy Undersecretaries, Vice Deputy Undersecretaries, Assistant Vice Deputy Undersecretaries, Principle Assistant Vice Deputy Undersecretaries, and so forth. That is where an astute conservative Congress ought to look most closely for the proper application of the budget axe, in every single part of DOC.

Let’s look at the component parts of DOC and what we’re paying for.

  1. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) –
    BEA provides economic statistics; this is where the nation’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is computed. The purpose is to provide up to date economic information.

  2. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) –
    BIS deals with issues involving national security and high technology, to (1) stop proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and (2) further growth of US exports. We might wonder why commerce involves itself in national security, with all the other agencies in place to do that, but I suppose it’s related to whatever is imported and exported. Dual-use technologies, encryption software and the like, along with defense materials and/or information, arms control agreements and so forth are monitored here.

  3. Bureau of the Census –
    This is where ACORN lives, under whatever bogus name currently in use. This sub-bureau performs the official American census every ten years, the most important outcome of which is the reapportionment of seats each state holds in the federal House of Representatives. That is the purpose of the census; to count people in America. However, it also gathers other demographic and economic data, which ought to be made illegal, for any census information other than a count of people has no legitimate purpose, and almost certainly has some illegitimate purpose. The Constitutional mandate of the decennial census is to use it to determine the number of House members from each state, and members of the electoral college, and that’s it. Anything else exceeds the Constitutional mandate.

  4. Economic Development Administration (EDA) –
    EDA was established by the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, ostensibly to create jobs, save jobs and “stimulate” industrial and commercial growth in various economically troubled geographic areas. Essentially, it is a large and growing political hole into which to bulldoze and shovel tax dollars. EDA claims to promote economic development through innovation and competitiveness, but what it does is injure innovation and competitiveness by increasing dependency on government, probably while lining pockets of political supporters and corrupt politicians. Government does not and cannot make private sector jobs; government can only hinder that process. EDA should be cut. DOC is supposed to regulate commerce, not create it.

  5. Economics & Statistics Administration (ESA) –
    ESA actually is placed over two other DOC agencies; the Census Bureau and the BEA. The ESA purpose is to gather economic statistics, and the people count. However, ESA also seeks demographic data in order to identify “opportunities” for improving the well being of Americans. That statement should raise your eyebrows. The last thing Americans need is for the federal government to find ways to improve their well being. That is not what our government is Constituted to do, and it is not the Constitutional mandate of DOC.

  6. Office of Export Enforcement (OExS) –
    OExS special agents enforce export laws and regulations. OExS drafts and publishes changes to bureaucratic export regulations and conducts regular seminars to help exporters keep up with the rule changes. It also handles license applications and issues licenses to export. Just by it’s own description of itself OExS sounds like a very busy bureaucratic regulation and red tape factory.

  7. Import Administration –
    Import Administration is a legal counsel function of the ITA below. It deals with imports into the US from foreign industries that are subsidized by foreign governments. These are typically imports that are priced below market cost in the originating countries, or priced below manufacturing cost. It handles cases involving anti-dumping laws and countervailing duty determinations under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

  8. International Trade Administration (ITA) –
    ITA promotes US exports of non-agricultural goods and services. The three goals of ITA are to:
    1. Help Americans select foreign markets and goods.
    2. Assure American access to foreign markets in accordance with trade agreements.
    3. Protect Americans from unfair competition, as from dumped / subsidized imports.

  9. Manufacturing and Services (MAS) –
    MAS is another function of ITA. MAS operates not only as another regulating bureaucracy, but also as a lobby, which (I suspect) is a sub-function of many other government bureaucracies. MAS creates it’s own regulations, and it acts as a lobbyist for bureau-favored legislation. The purported main goal of MAS is to support American manufacturing industry’s global competitiveness with analysis, regulation and legislation. The true agenda is to strengthen and support multiple flawed, erroneous and even fraudulent so-called scientific theories, such as anthropomorphic global warming, dangerously low levels of “non-renewable” fuel resources and so forth. Every year, including this one, in all of human history, proven reserves of everything from coal to gas and oil go up, not down; we are not running out of anything; quite the opposite. Nevertheless, MAS “analysis” results in legislation and regulation in direct opposition to popular American cars, for instance, in favor of inferior, unworkable little vehicles that need to be subsidized by government, with our tax dollars, in order to even be sold in any “free” market.

  10. Marine and Aviation Operations –
    This sub-department of NOAA involves the crews of vessels involved in the research of all of TTRSTF who have been directed to “scientifically” support the anthropomorphic global warming hoax, the ozone-hole hoax and various other pollution-related hoaxes so that government authority and reach, and government itself, may grow.

  11. Market Access and Compliance (MAC) –
    MAC is a sub-bureau of ITA. MAC is supposed to identify and overcome trade barriers, oversee trade agreements and “level the playing field” for international trade. It’s listed “interests” are
    • Intellectual Property and Piracy
    • Quotas
    • Standards
    • Customs
    • Transparency and Contract Sanctity
    • National Treatment
    • Good Governance
    • Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards
    Of particular interest here is the Good Governance Program of MAC, which seeks compliance with the UN Global Compact on good governance. The UN is among the most corrupt and the most anti-American foreign entities we could ever deal with, and the UN sense of “global governance” includes the elimination of borders and sovereignty, which means, of course, the elimination of the United States of America, in favor of WBESSWG . Isn’t that nice?

  12. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) –
    MBDA is the only federal government agency whose sole purpose is to foster establishment and growth of strictly minority-owned businesses in America. Why? Where in the Constitution, or anywhere else, does it say that our government should provide favorable treatment to some of us to the detriment of the rest of us, and pay for that discriminatory treatment with our tax dollars? MBDA presents a crystal clear example of pure discrimination, and it should be cut completely out of the budget.

  13. National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) – NESDIS is, essentially, a massive electronic data base. It provides access to global environmental data from satellites and other sources to promote, protect and enhance the nation’s economy, security, environment and quality of life. How to “promote” and “protect” these things is open to political interpretation. It requires government bureaucrats to make judgments regarding how to protect and promote my, and your, quality of life, which implies that they know better than we know exactly what defines our quality of life. The NESDIS vision is to be the world’s most comprehensive source and recognized authority for satellite products, environmental information, and official assessments of the environment in support of societal and economic decisions.

    My concern regarding NESDIS is less the whole bus of the program than with who might be driving the bus at any point in time. If the bus driver is a dispassionate objective seeker of truth, then we have no problem. But if the bus driver is a Global Warmer, or a Global Cooler, or a “Chicken-Little” type prophet who believes we’re running out of oil or coal or something, then we, and everyone, have a very, very big problem here. A Marxist President could use this bus to purposely drive America and the world right off of a wrong conclusion cliff.

  14. National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) –
    NIST (formerly known as National Bureau of Standards (NBS)) is a measurement standards laboratory; a non-regulatory agency of DOC. The mission is to “Promote U.S. innovation and competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve quality of life.” Note the familiar bureaucratic buzz-words, such as economic security, and quality of life. What I mainly question here is the need for nearly 3,000 scientists, engineers and technicians, and another almost 2,000 guest “associate” foreign and domestic researchers, and another 1,400 manufacturing specialists, to fulfill the seemingly simple mission of NIST.

  15. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) –
    NMFS is a division of NOAA under the DOC, and has the primary responsibility to conserve and manage marine fisheries in the U.S. exclusive economic zone out beyond various state waters. The U.S. exclusive economic zone extends 200 nautical miles from the U.S. coastline. NMFS is also tasked with “recovering” protected marines species such as salmon, whales and sea turtles. NMFS is also a federal law enforcement agency that works alongside the U.S. Coastguard, various state agencies and foreign enforcement authorities.

    I have never understood why the U.S. Coastguard should not be the primary law enforcement agency for these waters, and, for that matter, the Border Patrol, the TSA and any other law enforcement of laws covering people or things going into, coming out of or traveling near the U.S.

  16. National Oceanic & atmospheric Administration (NOAA) –
    NOAA is a (theoretically) scientific agency that conducts research to improve understanding and stewardship of the environment. The research is focused on weather, particularly dangerous weather, the oceans and the atmosphere.

    The NOAA vision: “An informed society that uses a comprehensive understanding of the role of the oceans, coasts, and atmospheres in the global ecosystem to make the best social and economic decisions.”

    The NOAA mission: “To understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our nations economic, social, and environmental needs.”

    By now the bureaucratic buzz-words should be familiar. Government is quite certain that it knows better than we do what our social needs are, and government intends to impose them on us. To achieve its vision and accomplish its mission, NOAA has four goals:

    1. Ensure the sustainable use of resources and balance competing uses of coastal and marine ecosystems, recognizing both their human and natural components.

    2. Understand changes in climate, including global climate change and the El Nino phenomenon, to ensure that Americans can plan and respond properly.

    3. Provide data and forecsts for weather and water cycle events, including storms, droughts and floods.

    4. Provide weather, climate and ecosystem information to make sure individual and commercial transportation is safe, efficient and environmentally sound.

    To accomplish these goals, NOAA is intended to be the world leader in applied scientific research in these research areas.

    I submit that the scientific nature of NOAA is fatally flawed by its own bureaucratic nature and the political nature of its employers. NOAA is employed and paid, very handsomely, to support pre-conceived scientific assumptions that are political in nature, and that is precisely what NOAA does. I offer as evidence backing these charges the following observations:

    • Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gas absolutely necessary for life on Earth, and it plays such an infinitesimally small part in local weather, let alone global climate, as to be very close to immeasurable. But you will not hear NOAA scientists talking down the political myth of the “vital importance” of CO2 levels in climate predictions; no – quite the opposite.

    • The theory of anthropomorphic global warming has been widely exposed as a scientific hoax, and there is no empirical evidence that the activities of man have any serious measurable effect on climate. But you will not hear NOAA scientists talking down the purely political myth of man-induced catastrophic climate change; no – quite the opposite.

    • The scientific evidence that such products as Freon, Styrofoam, etc., have any effect whatsoever on the Ozone Holes is specious at best; but you will not hear NOAA scientists talking down the error of the absolute necessity for man to totally eliminate these products from the free market place; no – quite the opposite.

    • The scientific evidence that man can do anything at all to seriously modify the global climate in any way simply does not exist. But you will not hear NOAA scientists talking down the politically theorized need to radically modify the behavior of man in order to “correct” climate change; no – quite the opposite.

    This is not science, and these are not scientists, in the true sense of the word. This is pure political trickery intended to advance the ability of government to do radical things and make radical changes on an emergency basis. The dangerous Untruth these pseudo-scientists promote, or at least, do not challenge, comes in the usual two varieties :

    1. The infection of Error, held and passed on by useful idiot carriers who cannot or will not do appropriate Critical Thinking.

    2. Open Falsehood, instigated and passed on by evil men with treacherous and malicious political agendas.

    Now, please do not inundate me with comments pointing to individual NOAA researchers who openly oppose the NOAA direction, or other merely anecdotal evidence of the existence of good scientists at NOAA. What is most important here is what NOAA itself officially says on these and other topics. NOAA itself is either scientific, or it is not. The official output of NOAA itself reflects the sum total of what the NOAA employees say. Perhaps that’s the real problem: they are more employees than independent researchers. Speaking collectively, their personal principles, where they exist at all, are subordinated to the “principles” of the political bureaucratic animal that employs them.

    Perhaps NOAA, like the current Republican Party, needs to be re-populated with serious men of principle who take their responsibility seriously. Marxists and dupes need to be weeded out of NOAA, and real science needs to be turned loose.

  17. National Ocean Service (NOS) –
    NOS operates under NOAA to preserve and enhance (enhance?) American coastal and Great Lakes resources and ecosystems. Probably the most important function of NOS is keeping nautical charts up to date and enhancing human navigation. NOS assesses, monitors and predicts consequences of natural and human induced environmental hazards such as hurricanes, erosion and sea-level rise.

    What can I say? The very idea that such things as hurricanes, coastal erosion and sea-level rise might be human induced is just plain stupid. Any so-called scientists who in any way support such nonsense should be ashamed of themselves.

  18. National Technical Information Service (NTIS) –
    NTIS is the U.S. repository for research and development results and other information produced by and for the government, and also a variety of public and private information sources world-wide. It is a central resource for scientific, technical, engineering and business related information. The purpose of NTIS is to support the DOC mission to promote economic growth by providing access to information that stimulates innovation and discovery.


    Sounds like government trying to stimulate the economy rather than allowing the private sector the freedom to do it naturally. There’s nothing wrong with a good information service, but there is something wrong, in any free market economy, with government seeking to drive the economy rather than freeing the private sector and allowing nature to take its course.

  19. National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) –
    NTIA is the principal advisor to the President on telecommunications policies pertaining to U.S. economic and technological advancement, and to the regulation of the telecommunications industry. This covers telephone, television, radio and the internet. NTIA oversees ICANN, which is the non-profit corporation that manages Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, domain names and all internet registries. In my opinion, NTIA represents a very dangerous concentration of government power over all public and private communications.

  20. National Weather Service (NWS) –
    NWS, formerly known as the Weather Bureau, operates under NOAA. NWS provides weather and climate (yeah, right) forecasts and warnings for America and surrounding areas, for the protection of life and property and for the enhancement of the national economy. NWS does an excellent job of forecasting weather; however, it is infected with the larger NOAA faith-based belief system of anthropomorphic global warming, and therefore its longer range projections are, and should be, viewed as under a cloud of suspicion. Not only is there no empirical evidence supporting man-caused global climate change, but it has been revealed to be a massive hoax, with a cast of thousands of fraudsters. Nevertheless, any prognostications regarding earth’s climate that come out of NOAA will contain, at least, hints of future global catastrophe and the need for emergency government action, to the greater glory of a New World Order of some sort.

  21. Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) –
    Another branch of NOAA, OAR calls itself the nation’s leading oceanic and atmospheric research agency, contributing to exploring and implementing all types of “alternative, renewable and clean energy sources.” Which is an indication that our government is convinced that these things are needed, and most be supplied by government or by government edict, regardless of what the free market naturally demands and supplies.

    Here we see the unholy marriage of two great, Marxist-inspired, government-induced frauds:

    1. The Great Anthropomorphic Global Warming Hoax.

    2. The Great “We’re Running Out Of Oil! We’re Running Out Of Coal! We’re Running Out Of Natural Gas! We’re Polluting Our Planet!” Hoax.

    OAR has a thundering herd of TTRSTF who have been trained to sing the Chicken-Little Emergency song, in harmony and on queue. If we don’t all swap out our light bulbs, and if gasoline doesn’t go to $16 per gallon, and we don’t go to windmills and solar panels, New York will be under water by next Wednesday.

    But the simple facts of the matter are these:

    1. There ain’t no such thing as man-caused global climate change.

    2. There is not one single thing man can do about the weather, let alone the climate.

    3. Proven in-ground reserves of fossil fuels are higher every year than every previous year, and never, ever, lower. We are not running out of anything.

    4. There is no comparable, viable, reliable alternative to fossil and nuclear fuel in existence today, or “greedy capitalist exploiters” would have produced it. When such a thing is available, the free market will indeed produce it, without any government assistance.

    OAR is a joke; it has no reason to exist. It should be shut down and cut from the budget.

  22. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO or USPTO) –
    The Constitutional mandate for USPTO may be found in Article 1 Section 8, as below:
    The Congress shall have the Power … To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries, …
    USPTO issues patents to inventors and businesses, and trademark registration for product and intellectual property identification.

  23. Trade Promotion and U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (CS) –
    Commercial Service (CS) helps U.S. companies succeed in foreign markets, through a network of trade professionals located in America and in the Embassies and Consulates of some 80 countries. CS helps with initial foreign business contacts and with export and import transactions.

While Commerce has a good Constitutional mandate, it is clear that it has exceeded that mandate, and there are major portions of the department that can be cut. Legislators looking to cut spending should also call to mind the Principles upon which this nation was founded, and recall the words of Jefferson:

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
We need not only to cut spending, but government reach.


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