[Homestead] get ready - "they" are coming ....
tonihawr at msn.com
Sat Sep 11 13:11:27 EDT 2004
excerpts : (taken out of context ? HELL YES !!)
"Now the government has taken on a new look with its bulging budgets and swollen labor force."
(more people getting paid to *produce* nothing)
"The government's reach lengthened, too, as it took on new authority to keep tabs on people..."
"...USA Patriot Act, which gave the government broad new powers to monitor citizens."
(American Big Brother)
"...contractors have also taken a larger share of the work."
(we don't vote for contractors. Or do we .... ?)
''It's a much more secretive government ... more hierarchical."
(head honchos in hierarchies - "...power corrupts....")
In wake of Sept. 11 attacks, government undergoes massive reorganization
By SIOBHAN McDONOUGH
WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 - The notion that the era of big government was over also perished in the Sept. 11 attacks.
Out of the rubble came an expanded, reshuffled and more powerful government, starting with the creation of the third largest department in Washington - Homeland Security - and now a massive reorganization of intelligence services.
The government's reach lengthened, too, as it took on new authority to keep tabs on people in the name of fighting terrorism.
Downsizing government had been the fashion in both parties - Republicans were naturally that way, but even many Democrats wanted to get with the program. That ended three years ago. Now the government has taken on a new look with its bulging budgets and swollen labor force.
''What you have today is probably something that I don't think any conservative Republican in the past would have dreamed possible and that is ... conservative big government,'' said Leon Panetta, budget director and chief of staff under former President Clinton. ''Most old-time Republicans are probably turning over in their graves.''
The federal domestic work force grew by 80,000 in three years, reaching 1.8 million in September 2003.
Out went the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in came the Homeland Security Department, Transportation Security Administration, Threat Integration Center and measures such as the USA Patriot Act, which gave the government broad new powers to monitor citizens. The fledgling transportation security agency had 11 employees six months after the attacks; it has 45,000 airport screeners now.
Some government-watchers say the machine of democracy had needed major greasing even before that day when terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center, Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania; it took the attacks to make changes happen.
''We're in a moment in history where reorganization is the answer to a set of problems that policy makers care about - how to educate children, how to protect the water supply,'' said Paul Light, professor of public service at New York University.
''The federal government is kind of like kudzu. Every once in a while you've got to go in, do some hacking away, clean things up and be quite deliberate about it.''
Said Panetta: ''With a crisis, you can make things happen. It's an unfortunate commentary on the way we do business.''
Based at the White House in its earliest days, Homeland Security took on a new form in March 2003 when 22 federal agencies merged into a single terrorism-fighting department.
With Tom Ridge at the reins, 170,000 employees began their work in the department, bringing with them experience from other agencies with tasks that were once seen as unrelated, now joined in the common denominator of the war against terrorism.
The Coast Guard, Secret Service and Customs Service were folded into Homeland Security. The INS was scrapped and broken into three parts, all absorbed by Homeland Security.
Altogether, it was the largest reorganization of U.S. government since the late 1940s, when the Defense Department was established, experts say. Apart from new and reworked agencies, contractors have also taken a larger share of the work.
Along with bureaucracy, power has shifted, says Gary Bass, executive director of OMB Watch, a group that monitors the budget and regulatory matters.
''It is more centralized in the context of the White House making more decisions,'' he said. ''It's a much more secretive government ... more hierarchical. That's a vast change.''
The Defense Department creation in the late 1940s was part of a trend toward mergers - another was the creation of the Health, Education and Welfare Department in the early 1950s. Later, President Nixon formed the Environmental Protection Agency, pulling together air- and water-quality units from elsewhere in government.
''What Congress put together in the 1950s, Congress started to take apart in the late 1970s,'' Light said. Health and welfare went into the Health and Human Services Department; education got a department of its own.
In 1996, Clinton declared ''the era of big government is over.'' It wasn't, even though he'd managed to trim the federal work force in his time.
''Reorganizations are back,'' Light said, ''and big government never really went away.''
© 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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