Formerly the Thinking Catholic Strategic Center
Is everyone beneath the level of the federal government just too dumb to carry on with life? Are manufacturers of trucks not smart enough to make them safe? Are truck drivers not smart enough to drive safely? Are transport companies not smart enough to keep their trucks safe, hire safe drivers and maintain standards of safety? Are state and local governments not smart enough to keep commercial transportation and commercial transporters within the limits of public safety? Is the Rule of Subsidiarity no longer operative?
How did it ever come to be that the Wizards of Washington are held to be the only ones who can ever keep us all safe, in every single aspect of the living of our lives and the doing of our business? Have they not assumed the role of King George, and by standing idle while they do that, have We The People, by default, not blindly and stupidly assumed the role of his loyal subjects?
Let's look at the sub-bureaucracies within the larger DOT bureaucracy and then see what can be cut. Here's the list:
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates and oversees all aspects of civil aviation, both commercial and private. FAA represents probably the most valuable function of DOT, acting as a cop directing all air traffic. FAA sets flight inspection standards, and issues, suspends or revokes pilot certificates. FAA operates a network of Air Traffic Control from towers, regions and centers all over America. Regulation of civil air safety is largely accomplished through local offices called Flight Standards District Offices.
Whatever happens to the rest of DOT, FAA is a vitally important asset to air traffic safety. The only FAA elements that ought to be privatized or eliminated involve areas of new research and development, and any "environmental" regulatory authority that might be influenced by government frauds such as global warming or climate change.
Because bureaus with regulating authority are not elected and not representative, bureaus like the FAA need close Congressional oversight to make sure that their regulatory authority does not exceed authority granted, or infringe American citizen Constitutional rights.
FHWA has two "programs" and three major functions.
Federal-aid Highway Program involves construction and maintenance of the national highway system, involving Interstate Highways and U.S. Routes. It is funded (theoretically) by the federal gasoline tax, which we might hope to be one of the many taxes replaced by passage of the Fair Tax. Most or much of this money is passed through to state departments of transportation who actually do the work. FWHA, however, "oversees" the state projects to ensure "federal requirements" are met. Any political money from upper government to lower government comes with strings attached; it always involves the upper government commanding how it is to be spent.
Federal Lands Highway Program involves construction and maintenance for federal land management agencies, such as the Forest Service and National Parks.
Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) is maintained by FHWA specifying size, color, height, etc., of signs, traffic signals, road surface markings, etc.
In Our Opinion everything in FHWA should be turned over to the states, along with National Parks and Federal Lands, as we have said elsewhere. The only thing of value that should be kept is a well maintained MUTCD manual, to be given free of charge to each of the 50 states, and updated periodically. The states should be free to do with them what they wish, unhindered by any federal constraints. Taxes - whether gasoline tax or Fair tax - could be reduced, and the states would be free to tax for sufficient funds to maintain highways within states on their own.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
FMCSA has no Constitutional and no other valid reason to continue to exist. The current ongoing effort to use FMCSA to enforce the completely unconstitutional H.R.3095 law particularly highlights that fact. This is an effort to force every holder of a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), of which I am one, to be "tested" for sleep disorders, at a cost estimated at $1 Billion, in case one of us might be found to have some sleep disorder.
First, $1 Billion is a low-ball estimate; second, we don't have $ 1 Billion; third, there is and can be no such thing as any fool-proof test for sleep disorders; fourth, the authors and proponents of this unconstitutional law are stifling industry comment or any opposition comment before enforcement; and fifth, how did it ever come to pass that an unelected, unaccountable and unrepresentative bureaucracy can not only make regulation with full force of law, but can also act as a police force to actually enforce any law or regulation? A purely bureaucratically appointed police force? Excuse me?
FMCSA should be cut completely. There is nothing that they do than cannot be better done by lower levels of government.
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
FRA, like the FMCSA above, is nowhere mentioned in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, or anywhere else, and so it has no real reason to continue to exist. However did any trains run before FRA was created in 1966?
Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
Ho hum, heavy sigh and here we go again. However did cities or ports ever run their busses, trolleys, light rail, ferries, etc., before FTA was invented in 1964? Again, we have another federal bureau to address issues not mentioned anywhere in the federal Constitution, which is to say, issues beyond the scope and legal authority of the federal government.
Like all other such federal bureaucracies, the federal government taxes to get the revenue to drive this bureaucracy, and to parcel money back to localities in the form of "grants", always with involvement of political ear-marks and the possibility of political payoffs and kick-backs.
Note well that such "grants" or other moneys awarded to states and localities come with strings attached. Like a good federal bureaucracy, FTA "oversees" the money to make sure it is spent the way the bureaucracy wants it spent.
It would be a simple matter to reduce or even eliminate the FTA tax revenue in the first place, and let the localities take care of mass transportation themselves, without interference, and without turning lower levels of government into dependent slave entities of the federal government.
Maritime Administration (MARAD)
MARAD is one federal bureaucracy that plays a vital role in national defense, with two major components.
United States Maritime Service trains officers and crew members to man the privately owned merchant ships that form the United States Merchant Marine.
United States Merchant Marine is the fleet of privately-owned merchant ships that transport goods, services and people all over the world in peacetime. In time of war, they can become an auxiliary to the U.S. Navy and transport troops and supplies for the military. Merchant Marines are not sent into battle, but they do defend their ships and cargo.
Any cuts in MARAD should be done with great caution and care.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
The only function of NHTSA that is of any use whatsoever is the administration of Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) system.
Everything else in the NHTSA is useless, at the federal government level. None of its functions are mentioned in the Constitution. There is no reason to assume that the federal government is even qualified to do these functions.
Motor vehicle safety standards are better handled by private enterprise, or at worst, lower levels of government than the federal. The same can be said of fuel economy and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The same could be said of pollution controls. NHTSA has preemptively taken over vehicular "greenhouse gass" emission control, despite the fact that:
The government is far less qualified than private manufacturers to ensure vehicular safety for their customers. Other than keeping track of VIN numbers, there is no reason for NHTSA to continue to exist and spend our money.
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
PHMSA was invented in 2004. We had lots of pipelines before 2004, and we had lots of transportation of hazardous materials in America before 2004. There was no reason for the federal government to intrude into this area and pretend to have special expertise sufficient to regulate pipelines and regulate transport of goods deemed hazardous. All of this is out of Constitutional scope. States and localities can handle their own regulations in this area where needed. PHMSA has no valid reason to continue to exist.
Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)
Looking into RITA is like looking at a bad joke. RITA was invented in 2005 out of nothing more than the desire of the federal government to create another useless bureaucracy. It has nothing to do with anything the federal government is Constitutionally authorized to do. It should be shut down.
Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC)
SLSDC works closely with its Canadian counterpart, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, a Canadian not-for-profit company, to be responsible for safe and efficient movement of maritime traffic through the locks and facilities of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.
SLSDC should be privatized.
Surface Transportation Board (STB)
STB has broad regulatory oversight of:
What the hell has the federal government to do with railroad rates, or any of this other stuff?
If a railroad, or any other private enterprise, like any bank, cannot do business profitably on its own, then it should go out of business.
States and local governments can regulate their own bus lines and railroads as they see fit without federal intrusion. STB should be cut completely.
DOT has just enough needed function to barely squeak by being cut completely. Note that this is just one of the many bureaucracies addressed in the Cut The Spending pages in this site.
We are never going to get out of the economic hole the Marxocrats and Republicrats have dug us into unless we cut whole agencies and bureaucracies.
That's my opinion.
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Comment
Date: Wed Oct
From: Vic Biorseth
Changes pursuant to changing the website URL
and name from
Thinking Catholic Strategic Center to
Catholic American Thinker.
Pulled the trigger on the 301 MOVE IT option June 1, 2014. Working my way through all the webpages. .
Date: Fri Oct 31 00:19:10 2014
From: Dr. J. Edmunson
"There ain't no such thing as a greenhouse gas."
That statement is a blatant misstatement of proven science.
Date: Fri Oct 31
From: Vic Biorseth
Dr. J. Edmunson:
I know, I know, lots of "scientists" have proved it. But I have dis-proven it, by experiment, and I hereby publish my dis-proof for peer review and independent verification or falsification.
I tried to make a greenhouse out of gas window panes rather than glass window panes. Every attempt was a failure. It was quite impossible to even get one window pane done. My gas window panes just wouldn't stay put. I couldn't even putty them in properly.
I had to give up, and just put in the window frames, with nothing in them. But, then I realized, what was in them was gas anyway. I then showed, by meticulous observation and measurement, that light passed into the greenhouse and heated what was inside, but, the heat was not trapped inside, but radiated right back out. Not at all like a glass greenhouse.
I challenge you to try it yourself. A glass greenhouse will always retain more heat than a gas greenhouse. Prove me wrong if you can.
Never be lukewarm.
Life itself demands passion.
He who is indifferent to God has already forfeited his soul.
He who is indifferent to politics has already forfeited his liberty.
In America, religion is not mere window dressing and citizenship is not a spectator sport.
Do not allow our common destiny as a whole people to just happen without your input.
Seek the Truth; find the Way; live the Life; please God, and live forever.
Catholic American Thinker
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The Purpose for this grouping of links is to show, first, the unconstitutional bureaucracies that need to be cut, and second, to highlight ideas toward restoring America toward her original Constitutional design.
The Cut The Spending Pages
Most of this site describes what is wrong; this one describes what to do about it. If we don't get rid of the extra-Constitutional entities we are over-paying for they will eventually economically strangle us to death as a nation.
Shut down unneeded bureaucracy, for budget’s sake. In the name of fiscal sanity, we need to shut down unneeded bureaucracy.
Cut USDA budget, in whole or in part. Is agriculture the constitutional business of the federal government?
Department of Commerce: Cut DOC budget, with a meat axe. Argument to cut DOC; in times like these, no bureaucracy is sacred.
Dept of Defense: Budget cuts here need to be of the scalpel variety. Defense cuts need to be done very carefully lest we harm national security.
Cut the ED budget, in whole. Is education the constitutional business of the federal government?
Argument against Public Education, which is, in fact, Government Indoctrination. Public Education equals State Indoctrination, pure and simple. Education is beyond the scope of government and not what our government is constituted to do.
Cut DOE budget, with a meat axe. Other than nuclear, how is any energy source the business of federal government?
Cut HHS budget, completely. How, exactly, is any Health and/or Human Services the Constitutional business of federal government?
Cut Social Security: Elimination of America’s Largest Budget Expenditure. How to Cut Social Security and begin the return to fiscal sanity.
Cut DHS budget, completely. Homeland Security is the proper domain of Defense, CIA and FBI. We should cut DHS completely.
Cut HUD budget, completely. How, exactly, is Housing or Urban Development the Constitutional business of federal government?
At this moment in time, most Constitutionalists would love to kill the IRS. How do you Kill the IRS? Fast-track and pass the Fair Tax. Very simple; nothing to it.
Cut DOJ budget, with a paring knife, but, radically. We need to cut DOJ unnecessary and unrelated functions to streamline the function of justice.
Cut DOL, completely. The Dept of Labor has no Constitutional reason to exist. We should cut DOL, which, like organized labor itself, was born of Marx's Communist Manifesto.
Cut EPA, completely. EPA has no Constitutional reason to exist. How, exactly, are the environment or natural resources the Constitutional business of the Federal Government?
Cut DOS (State Departement) budget excess fat. Cut DOS unnecessary functions and get back to State business.
Cut DOI (Department Of Interior) with a meat axe. We can eliminate ninety percent of Interior bureaucracy when we cut DOI.
Restoring our Treasury Department to its original purpose for being. On restoring our Treasury from Fascist Crony Capitalism, i.e., the Fed.
If we really need to cut spending, we should cut DOT with a meat axe. We should cut DOT and all these other bureaucracies that are regulating us to death.
Cut bureaucracy, but leave VA alone. In fact, we should build up the VA. In the aftermath of Marxocrat and Republicrat cuts to defense, both defense and the VA need new attention.
"We belong to the Church militant; and She is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass Her destruction. Not only in the far-off centuries of the early Church, but down through the ages and in this our day, the enemies of God and Christian civilization make bold to attack the Creator’s supreme dominion and sacrosanct human rights.”--Pope Pius XII
"It is not lawful to take the things of others to give to the poor. It is a sin worthy of punishment, not an act deserving a reward, to give away what belongs to others."--St. Francis of Assisi
Truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.—Winston Churchill
The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.—Ayn Rand
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