The Department of Justice, for example, has an already closed agency, the National Drug Intelligence Center, that is slated to lose funding in the sequester an easy savings of nearly 20 Million dollars. The Department of Health and Human Services spends nearly 2 million dollar a year in fees on fully spent but not yet closed grant accounts. The Department of Defense recently ended the development of the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS) a program to stream line supply systems for the Air Force that has been described as a having “negligible” capacity to perform its duties. Ending this program saves nearly 1 billion dollars.
Every crisis is an opportunity. It is naïve to believe that government agencies will always or even usually have the public’s best interest at heart. Throwing out drastic statistics describing potential losses for the public is like shutting down the elevator at the Washington Monument. It’s an effective strategy to scare people into taking actions that will prevent their budget from being cut.
Randy T. Simmons is the Director of the Institute for Political Economy and Professor of Political Economy at Utah State University. Ryan M. Yonk is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Southern Utah University and Director of the Institute of Policy Analysis. And Josh DeFriez is a researcher at the Institute of Political Economy.