Monday, February 20, 2012

Eliminate the Department of Agriculture

I've been reading through "Cuts, Consolidations and Savings", which details how about $25 billion/year will be cut from the Federal budget.  Many of these are from the Department of Agriculture.

My suggestion is to totally eliminate the Department of Agriculture.

Why is the United States Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture instead of Interior?  Interior has the National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service, so it seems natural to have them in the same department.  (A related question is why is NOAA in the Department of Commerce instead of Interior?  They have fisheries and endangered species programs which duplicate those of the Interior.)

Also, why does Agriculture have a division for Rural Development?  Shouldn't this be combined with Housing and Urban Development?

Food Stamps have become EBTs, which is welfare.  Why is this under Agriculture?  Move it to Health and Human Services.

Investments in renewable energy should be shifted to, I don't know, how about the Department of Energy?  Improving water quality sounds like something for the EPA.

The remaining functions, dealing with things such as crop insurance, scientific research, food inspection, and farm subsidies, could be moved to Commerce.

The Department of Agriculture has a $134 billion annual budget.  Shifting its functions to other departments wouldn't save that much money, but surely at least 5% could be saved.  That's over $7 billion/year.  So that's my suggestion for the day.  Eliminate the Department of Agriculture.  It's a grab bag of functions that duplicate other agencies.

The Food and Drug Administration, which sounds like it could be in the Department of Agriculture, is Health and Human Services.

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