Document Name: Chapter 4-- Cutting Back to Basics Part I
Date: 09/07/94
Owner: National Performance Review
Title:Chapter 4-- Cutting Back to Basics Part I

Author: Vice President Albert Gore's National Performance Review

Date:7 September 1993 10:00:00 EST

Content-Type: text/ascii charset=US ASCII

Content-Length: 97826

Chapter 4

Cutting Back to Basics


I feel like that person in the old movie who

writes in lipstick on bathroom mirrors, "Stop me before I kill

again." However, in my case, the legend should be, "Stop me

before I steal some more."

Letter from Bruce Bair of Schoenchen, Kansas, to Vice

President Al Gore, May 24, 1993


Bruce Bair admitted to "stealing" from the federal

government--at a rate of about $11 an hour. His job was checking

the weather in Russell, Kansas, every hour, and reporting to the

Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA used his information to

warn planes in the area about bad weather. But Russell isn't a

busy flight station any more. Bair saw just two landings in more

than a year during his night shift. Days were only slightly

busier. Before the advent of automated weather gathering devices,

human weather watchers at Russell and at other small stations

throughout the Midwest were vital for aircraft safety. Today,

they could be replaced with machines. "From my experience with

the machine," wrote Bair, "it is very adequate to protect the air

space over Russell." In fact, Russell has had a machine for some

time, but the FAA had not yet eliminated the human staff.

Bair concluded his letter to Vice President Gore with these

words: "I feel there is very little doubt among professionals

that we are basically useless here." A few months later, he quit.

Now he says, "I'm no longer stealing from the government."1

Bruce Bair's story tells us much about our federal

government: its entrenchment in old ways, its reluctance to


procedures, and its resistance to change. Its inflexibility has

preserved scores of obsolete programs. This is not news to most

of us--obsolescence is part of our stereotype of government.

Why is it so difficult to close unneeded programs? Because

those who benefit from them fight to keep them alive. While the

savings from killing a program may be large, they are spread over

many taxpayers. In contrast, the benefits of keeping the program

are concentrated in a few hands. So special interests often

prevail over the general interest.

That's why we can't eliminate unnecessary programs simply by

making lists. Politicians, task forces, commissions, and

newspaper articles have been ridiculing wasteful programs for as

long as we have enjoyed democratic government. But most programs

survive attack. After a decade of tight budget talk, for example,

federal budget expert Allen Schick says he can identify just

three major nondefense programs eliminated since 1980: general

revenue sharing, urban development action grants, and the fast

breeder reactor program.2

To shut down programs, therefore, we must change the

underlying culture of government. As we described in the

preceding chapters, we will do this by introducing market

dynamics, sharing savings from cuts with agencies, exposing

unnecessary programs to the spotlight of annual performance

measures, and giving customers the power to reject what they do

not need. As government begins operating under these new rules,

we are confident that agencies will request the consolidation and

elimination of programs. Billions of dollars will be returned to

taxpayers or passed on to customers.

We will begin this process today:

First, we will eliminate programs we do not need--the

obsolete, the duplicative, and those that serve special, not

national interests.

Second, we will collect more--through imposing or increasing

user fees where pricing makes economic sense, and by collecting

what the government is owed in delinquent debt or fraudulent

overpayment of benefits.

Third, we will reengineer government activities, making full

use of computer systems and telecommunications to revolutionize

how we deliver services.

The actions and recommendations described in this Chapter

are the first dividend on what we can earn from streamlining

government. They won't be the last--or even the largest. The

strategy of the National Performance Review differs from that of

previous budget cutting efforts. Our recommendations have been

discussed thoroughly with agency heads to determine which cuts

are warranted, feasible, and can be done quickly. We are ready to

act with the full force of the cabinet.

Step 1: Eliminate What We Don't Need

After World War II, a British commission on modernizing

government discovered that the civil service was paying a

full-time worker to light bonfires along the Dover cliffs if a

Spanish Armada was sighted. The last Spanish Armada had been

defeated some years before--in 1588, to be precise.

This story may be apocryphal. But not all such stories are.

In Brooklyn, New York, there is a Federal Tea Room where a

federal employee sips imported tea to test its quality.3 For one

hundred years, taxpayers paid for the position. It was not until

press coverage angered enough members of Congress that things

were changed: now, tea importers pay to have their tea

tested--although the taster remains a government employee.

These stories capture an essential truth about governments;

they rarely abandon anything. Like the FAA that employed Bruce

Bair to check the weather, federal agencies do many things not

because they make sense, but because they have always been done

that way. They become like the furniture: They are simply there.

Other programs are not so much obsolete as duplicative. When

confronted with new problems, we instinctively create new

programs. But we seldom eliminate the old programs that have

failed us in the first place. Still other programs were never

needed in the first place. They were created to benefit

influential industries or interest groups. The National

Performance Review has targeted several programs in each of these

categories for immediate elimination.

Although we make specific recommendations in the pages that

follow, we believe the government must tackle the problem

systematically. The single best method would be to give the

President greater power to eliminate pork that creeps into
federal budgets.

Action: Give the President greater power to cut items from

spending bills.4

Today, the President's powers to cut spending are

limited--more limited than most of the nation's fifty governors.

He can either sign or veto appropriations bills; he can't veto

individual items--a power most governors have. For the President

to cut wasteful spending, he needs the power of what is called,

in Washington, "expedited rescission." Under current law, the

President can submit proposed rescissions to Congress, which then

has 45 legislative days to act. If Congress does not act,

proposals are rejected. The President should have greater

authority to reject individual items.

Broader rescission powers were envisioned in HR 1578, which

the House passed in late April 1993. This bill would force

Congress to vote on the President's proposals to cancel funding,

rather than let it kill those requests by ignoring them, as under

current procedures. If enacted, the new procedure would, as

President Clinton wrote in a letter to House Speaker Thomas S.

Foley, "provide an effective means for curbing unnecessary or

inappropriate expenditures without blocking enactment of critical

appropriations bills."

Eliminate the Obsolete

Not all employees of useless programs act with Bruce Bair's

forthrightness. But that doesn't mean their offices or programs

are any more useful. The vast nationwide network of 30,000

federal government offices, for example, reflects an era when

America was a rural country and the word "telecommunications" was

not yet in the dictionary. While circumstances have changed, the

government hasn't. As a result, workloads are unevenly

distributed--some field offices are underworked, others are

overworked, some are located too far from their customers to

serve them well, and few are connected to customers through

modern communications systems.

Action: Within 18 months, the President's Management Council will

review and submit to Congress a report on closing and

consolidating federal civilian facilities.5

All agencies will develop strategies to cut back or

consolidate their field office systems in ways that are

compatible with our principle of better services to customers.

The President's Management Council will submit the report to

Congress within 18 months showing which offices may be closed,

which can be

consolidated and which can be slimmed. We urge Congress to act

quickly on this package.


This is a precious opportunity to make fundamental change in

government. I look forward to working together on areas of mutual


U.S. Rep. William F. Clinger (R. Penn.)


We are confident that the savings will be large because

several agencies are already committed to far-reaching reforms in

their field office systems. Their efforts will be models for

those that haven't moved as quickly as they prepare their plans

for the President's Management Council.

Action: The Department of Agriculture will close or consolidate

1,200 field offices.6

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) operates the most

elaborate and extensive set of field offices--more than 12,000

across the country. Under Secretary Mike Espy's leadership, the

department is planning dramatic reforms. USDA runs 250 programs

in such vital but diverse areas as farm productivity, nutrition,

food safety, and conservation. Its focus has shifted dramatically

since the 1930s, when its present structure evolved: 60 percent

of its budget now deals with nutrition; less than 30 percent with


As the basis for reorganization, USDA will concentrate its

activities on six key functions: commodity programs, rural

development, nutrition, conservation, food quality, and research.

This focus will allow it to consolidate from 42 to 30 agencies

and from 14 to six support staffs, cutting administrative costs

by more than $200 million over five years.

As part of this process, USDA will consolidate or close

about 1,200 field offices within the Agricultural Stabilization

and Conservation Service, the Soil Conservation Service, the

Farmers Home Administration, the Cooperative Extension System,

and the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. Some of these offices

now serve suburban counties, others have few rural customers

left. In 1991, the General Accounting Office reported that in

Gregg County, Texas, the Agricultural Stabilization and

Conservation Service office served only 15 farmers; in Douglass

County, Georgia, two USDA programs served a total of 17 farmers.7

Field office closings will be determined by a six-part

scoring system developed to evaluate each office. Once in place,

this restructuring will save more than $1.6 billion over five

years and eliminate the equivalent of 7,500 full time employees.

Customers will be better served because operations will be

combined in multi-purpose USDA field service offices.

Action: The Department of Housing and Urban Development will

streamline its regional office system.8

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has

also developed a strategy to close offices without cutting

customer services. Roughly 10,000 of HUD's 13,500 employees work

in field offices, but their workloads vary: the New York regional

office monitors 238,000 federal public housing units, the Seattle

office only 30,000 units. Management restructuring, described in

the previous chapter, will streamline HUD's field operations.9

Under a five-year plan, HUD will eliminate all regional offices,

pare down its 80-field office system, and cut its field staff by

1,500 people.

Action: The Department of Energy will consolidate and redirect

the mission of its laboratories, production, and testing

facilities to meet post-Cold War national priorities.10

For the first time in 50 years, the United States is not

engaged in producing or testing nuclear weapons. Significant

reductions in funding for these programs are already

underway--$1.25 billion in fiscal year 1994 alone. Yet, the

Department of Energy's weapons laboratories and production plants

represent an irreplaceable investment in world-class research and

development, intellectual, and computing capabilities, carefully

cultivated over five decades. As the department redirects its

facilities, the challenge is to eliminate unnecessary activities,

while shifting appropriate resources to meet non-defense


Under Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary's leadership, DOE

will review its labs, weapons production facilities, and testing

sites in the context of its mission--and will recommend the

phased consolidation or closure of obsolete or redundant

facilities. The secretary will also identify facilities that

other government agencies may find useful, encourage laboratory

managers to bid on contracts with other agencies, and increase

cooperation with the private sector.

Action: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will reduce the number

of regional offices.11

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, too, has a plan: it will
cut its divisional offices from 11 to 6. It cannot, however,

close district offices because Congress prevented such actions by

law--an example of costly congressional micro-managing. The Corps

has carried out the nation's largest civil works projects. But

its role is changing: Fewer large projects, more complex

environmental projects.

Action: The Small Business Administration will reduce the number

of field offices and consolidate services.12

The Small Business Administration is developing criteria for

consolidating field offices based on the customer load. It has

already demonstrated in pilot programs how to cut local office

staff by providing routine loan servicing for several local SBA

offices and by adopting automated procedures for processing

applications for the agency's many different loan programs.

Action: The U.S. Agency for International Development will reduce

the number of its overseas missions.13

With the dramatic changes in U.S. foreign policy, agencies

with overseas operations are rethinking their responsibilities.

J. Brian Atwood, administrator for the U.S. Agency for

International Development (AID), believes the number of countries

in which his agency operates missions can be cut from 105 to

perhaps 50. Cuts will be made in the number of missions in

developed countries so that the agency's efforts can focus on

those nations that can't absorb or manage assistance or on truly

underdeveloped countries.

Action: The United States Information Agency will cut the number

of libraries and reference centers it pays for overseas.14

Savings are also possible in overseas facilities maintained

by the United States Information Agency. USIA maintains libraries

and other facilities in many developed countries, as well as in

emerging countries. While facilities in the latter are often

crowded, those in developed countries attract few customers: In

Canada, for example, a USIA library attracted only 568 walk-in

visitors in a year. Eliminating some of these facilities or

turning them over to their host countries could save an estimated

$51.5 million through 1999.15


We'll challenge the basic assumptions of every program,

asking does it work, does it provide quality service, does it

encourage innovation and reward hard work. If the answer is no,

or it there's a better way to do it or if there's something that

the federal government is doing, it should simply stop doing,

we'll try to make the changes needed."

President Bill Clinton

Announcement of initiative to streamline government March 3, 1993


Action: The Department of State will reduce by 11 the number of

Marine Guard detachments it employs.16

By consolidating the storage of top secret documents in

overseas missions, the Department of State can reduce the need

for Marine Guard detachments. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security

has identified 11 posts where the Marine Security Guard program

could be eliminated simply by moving documents to other places.

Action: Pass legislation to allow the sale of the Alaska Power


The federal government once played a crucial role in

financing, developing and operating the Alaska Power

Administration (APA). No longer. APA was created to encourage

economic development in Alaska by making low-cost hydro-power

available to industry and to residential customers. The project

has succeeded and can now be turned over to local ownership.

The federal government retains four other Power Marketing

Administrations (PMAs) which own hydropower facilities and sell

the power they generate to public, private, and cooperative

utilities at cost. These PMAs serve customers spread throughout

many states, so the facilities cannot easily be sold to a local

entity. APA, on the other hand, is unique: Its facilities and

customers are located in a single state. Various public agencies

have already urged the federal government to sell the APA

facilities. APA signed purchase agreements to do so before 1993.

The sale is supported by state and local officials, Alaska's

congressional delegation, the Energy Department, the Office of

Management and Budget and the House Appropriations Committee. But

Congress has yet to pass the necessary authorizing legislation.

We urge it to do so. The sale would bring $52.5 million into the

U.S. Treasury and save millions more in yearly operating costs.

Action: Terminate federal grant funding for Federal Aviation

Administration higher education programs.18

Success has rendered two FAA federal subsidies obsolete.

They have met the objectives for which they were established and

can now be terminated. For example, in 1982, the Federal Aviation

Administration (FAA) launched a program to improve the

development and teaching of aviation curricula at universities

and other post-secondary schools. The goal was to produce

graduates better prepared for jobs in the industry.

So far, the FAA has spent about $4 million on consultants to

upgrade schools' programs and another $100 million was

appropriated--most at Congress' insistence not at FAA's

request--to be given out in grants so that the schools could buy

better facilities and equipment. Many schools now offer high

quality aviation training programs without support from the FAA.

Since $45 million of the appropriation remains unspent, stopping

the program now can save this money.

Another program we no longer need is the Collegiate Training

Initiative for Air Traffic Controllers. It was set up to

determine whether other institutions could offer the same quality

training for controllers as the FAA Academy does. If they could,

it would save the government the $20,000 it costs to train each

new controller at the academy. The answer is clearly yes. Five

schools participating in the program are producing well-qualified

controllers, although only two are receiving government

subsidies. It is now time to phase out these remaining subsidies.

Action: Close the Uniformed Services University of the Health


The Department of Defense once faced shortages of medical

personnel, particularly of physicians. So, in 1972, Congress

created the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

(USUHS). Today, USUHS provides less than 10 percent of the

services' physicians at a cost much higher than other programs:

USUHS physicians cost the federal government $562,000 each, while

subsidies under the Health Professionals Scholarship Program cost

only $111,000 per physician. Closing the facility and relying on

the scholarship program and volunteers would save DOD $300

million over five years.

Action: Suspend the acquisition of new federal office space.20

Over the next 5 years, the federal government is slated to spend

more than $800 million a year acquiring new federal office space

and courthouses. Under current conditions, however, those

acquisitions don't make sense.

The federal workforce is being reduced, the Resolution Trust

Corporation is disposing of real estate once held by failed

savings and loans at 10 to 50 cents on the dollar, commercial

office vacancy rates are running in the 10 to 25 percent range,

and U.S. military bases are being closed. All of these factors

suggest that the government has many potential sources for office

space without buying any more buildings.

The GSA administrator will place an immediate hold on GSA's

acquisition--through construction, purchase, or lease--of net new

office space. The administrator will begin aggressive

negotiations for existing and new leases to further reduce costs.

And GSA will reevaluate and reduce the costs of new courthouse

construction. These actions should save at least $2 billion over

the next 5 years.

Eliminate Duplication

Government programs accumulate like coral reefs--the slow

and unplanned accretion of tens of thousands of ideas,

legislative actions, and administrative initiatives. But, as a

participant at the Vice President's HUD meeting told us, "There

isn't always a rational basis for the way we are set up in this

organization. Over the years, branches have developed; they have

been taken over by divisions; and we don't look at the

organization as a whole." Now we must clear our way through these


The National Performance Review has looked at government as

a whole. We have identified many areas of duplication. What

follow are recommendations for the first round of cuts and


Action: Eliminate the President's Intelligence Oversight Board.21

No branch of government--including the Executive Office of

the President--is free of duplication. We will begin the

streamlining process in the EOP, where there are two groups

intended to oversee intelligence--tripping over each other and

allowing some issues to fall through jurisdictional cracks. The

President, by directive, should terminate the President's

Intelligence Oversight Board and assign its functions to a

standing committee of the President's Foreign Intelligence

Advisory Board.

Action: Consolidate training programs for unemployed people.22

Government's response to changing circumstance often creates

duplication. As the economy has evolved, for example, we have

created at least four major programs to help laid-off workers:

the Economic Dislocation and Worker Adjustment Assistance Act

(EDWAA), which spends $517 million annually for those who lose

their jobs through plant closings or major layoffs; the Trade

Adjustment Assistance program (TAA), which distributes $170

million through State Employment Security Agencies for those who

lose jobs due to increased imports; the Defense Conversion

Adjustment program, which dispenses $150 million for those

unemployed because of defense cuts; and a program that allocates

$50 million for those unemployed due to the enforcement of new

clean air standards. Even more programs are in the pipeline.

But multiple programs aimed at common goals don't work well.

Administrative overhead is doubled and services suffer. Because

each training program is intended to help people rendered jobless

for different reasons, people seeking work must wait for help

until the government determines which program they are eligible

for. The process is slow. The General Accounting Office estimates

that less than one-tenth of TAA-eligible workers receive any

benefits within 15 weeks of losing their jobs, for example.23

The unemployed care less about why they lost their jobs than

about enrolling in training programs or finding other jobs. Labor

Secretary Robert Reich is proposing legislative changes to

consolidate programs for workers who lose their jobs, regardless

of the cause. His bill would also allow more funds to be used

before workers lose their jobs. In Chapter 1, we recommend the

consolidation of 20 education, employment, and training programs.

We urge Congress to support both initiatives.

Action: Consolidate the Veterans' Employment and Training Service

and the Food Stamp Training Program into the Employment and

Training Administration.24

Several training programs offer similar services through the same

offices--sometimes even using the same employees--but requiring

separate management and reporting systems. We can cut bureaucracy

and paperwork while improving services to the customer by merging

these programs.

Consider the case of the Veterans' Employment and Training

Service (VETS) in the Department of Labor (DOL). Another

operation in DOL, the Employment and Training Administration

(ETA), funds local Employment Services, which, in turn, house

staff dedicated to providing veterans with advice on training

programs. But these staff are legally prohibited from serving

non-veterans. So, if a local office is crowded with non-veterans,

these specialists cannot help out--even if they have no veterans

to serve. Moving VETS into the ETA will generate much greater

efficiency in the use of staff, leading to shorter lines and

better service.

We also recommend moving the Food Stamp Training Program

into the ETA. Most training under the program is already

performed under contract by ETA staff, by the Employment Service,

or by local education institutions. Overall, ETA can offer poor

people a much more comprehensive range of job-search and training

services than can the Food Stamp Training Program.

Action: Reduce the number of Department of Education programs

from 230 to 189.25

The nation's concern with education has led to an explosion

of programs at all levels of government. The Education Department

now funds 230 programs, many of which overlap. Since many are

grants to state and local governments, we face duplication in

triplicate--multiple administrative systems at all levels of


Of these 230 programs, 160 will award money through 245

different national competitions this year. The cumbersome

administrative systems divert money from activities more central

to the department's mission. These programs should be reduced in

number and their procedures streamlined.

The department has begun reforming and streamlining

programs, particularly those under the Elementary and Secondary

Education Act. This will make it easier for schools to get the

money without jumping through so many bureaucratic hoops. We

propose to eliminate and consolidate more programs that have

served their original purpose or would be more appropriately

funded through non-federal sources. The savings, as much as $515

million over 6 years, can be better used for other departmental

priorities. For example:

-- The department administers two programs--the National

Academy of Space, Science, and Technology program and the

National Science Scholars program--that give scholarships to

post-secondary math, science, and engineering students. These two

should be combined.

-- State Student Incentives Grants were created to encourage

states to develop needs-based student aid programs. Since all

states now have their own programs, the federal program is no

longer needed.

-- The Research Libraries' program funds research libraries

to build their collections. University endowments could and

should support these efforts, without federal subsidy.

Action: Eliminate the Food Safety and Inspection Service as a

separate agency by consolidating all food safety responsibilities

under the Food and Drug Administration.26

Sometimes duplication among federal programs can make us

ill--even kill us. Take the way we inspect food for

contamination. Several agencies are involved, each operating

under separate legislation, with different standards, and with

staff trained in different procedures. In 1992, the Food and Drug

Administration (FDA)--part of the Department of Health and Human

Services--devoted about 255 staff years to inspecting 53,000 food

stores, while the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)--part

of the Department of Agriculture--devoted 9,000 staff years to

inspecting 6,100 food processing plants.

But this duplication doesn't mean that we cover all sources

of contamination thoroughly. Meat and poultry products must be

inspected daily, while shellfish, which have the same risk of

causing food borne illness, are not required by law to be

federally inspected. Too many items fall through the bureaucratic

cracks. Not only that, enforcement powers vary among the

different agencies. If the FDA finds unsanitary plant conditions

or contaminated products, compliance is usually voluntary because

the agency lacks FSIS's powers to close plants or seize or detain

suspect or known contaminated products. And if one agency refers

a problem to another, follow up is at best slow and at worst


With no fewer than 21 agencies engaged in research on food

safety, often duplicating each other's efforts, we aren't

progressing fast enough in understanding and overcoming
life-threatening illness. As recent and fatal outbreaks of

food-borne illness attest, multiple agencies aren't adequately

protecting Americans.

Under our recommended streamlining, the FDA would handle all

food safety regulations and inspection, spanning the work of the

many different agencies now involved. The new FDA would have the

power to require all food processing plants to identify the

danger points in their processes on which safety inspections

would focus. Where and how inspections are carried out, not the

number or frequency of inspections, determines the efficiency of

the system.

The FDA would also develop rigorous, scientifically based

systems for conducting inspections. Today, we rely, primarily, on

inspection by touch, sight, and smell. Modern technology allows

more reliable methods. We should employ the full power of modern

technology to detect the presence of microbes, giving Americans

the best possible protection. Wherever possible, reporting should

be automated so that high-risk foods and high-risk food

processors can be found quickly. Enforcement powers should be

uniform for all types of foods, with incentives built in to

reward businesses with strong safety records.

Action: Consolidate non-military international broadcasting.28

The U.S. government funds several overseas broadcasting

services--including those operated by the United States

Information Agency's Bureau of Broadcasting, which accounts for

one-third of the agency's $1.2 billion budget, and services such

as Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, which have budgets

totalling $220 million a year. All non-military international

broadcasting services should be consolidated under the USIA. Part

of this was propsed in the President's budget request for fiscal

year 1994.

Action: Create a single civilian polar satellite system.29

Collecting temperature, moisture, and other weather and

environmental information from polar satellites is a vital task,

both for weather forecasting and for global climate studies. But

we have two different systems, one run by the Department of

Defense and the other by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration. On top of this, the National Aeronautics and

Space Administration is planning a third. Over the next ten years

these three systems will cost taxpayers about $6 billion.

Congress should enact legislation requiring these agencies to

consolidate their efforts into a single system, saving as much as

$1.3 billion over the same period.

Action: Transfer the functions of the Railroad Retirement

Benefits Board to other agencies.30

The government can operate with fewer pension management

systems. In 1934, Congress set up the Railroad Retirement Board

to protect railroad workers in the face of financial problems, to

allow workers to transfer among railroads, and to encourage early

retirement to create jobs for the millions of younger workers. In

those days, the huge national public pension system, Social

Security, was not yet in place; neither were the state-federal

unemployment insurance systems nor Medicare.

Today, it makes no sense for a separate agency to administer

benefits for a single industry. Social Security Administration

can administer social security benefits for railroad workers as

it administers them for everyone else; unemployment insurance

systems can serve unemployed railroad workers as well as it

serves other unemployed people; and the Health Care Financing

Administration can incorporate railroad workers' health care

benefits into the Medicare system.31

Action: Transfer law enforcement functions of the Drug

Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,

and Firearms to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.32

More than 140 federal agencies are responsible for enforcing
4,100 federal criminal laws. Most federal crimes involve

violations of several laws and fall under the jurisdiction of

several agencies; a drug case may involve violations of

financial, firearms, immigration and customs laws, as well as

drug statutes. Unfortunately, too many cooks spoil the broth.

Agencies squabble over turf, fail to cooperate, or delay matters

while attempting to agree on common policies.

The first step in consolidating law enforcement efforts will

be major structural changes to integrate drug enforcement efforts

of the DEA and FBI. This will create savings in administrative

and support functions such as laboratories, legal services,

training facilities, and administration. Most important, the

federal government will get a much more powerful weapon in its

fight against crime.

When this has been successfully accomplished, we will move

toward combining the enforcement functions of the Bureau of

Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) into the FBI and merge

BATF's regulatory and revenue functions into the IRS. BATF was

originally created as a revenue collection agency but, as the war

on drugs escalated, it was drafted into the law enforcement

business. We believe that war would be waged most successfully

under the auspices of a single federal agency.

Eliminate Special Interest Privileges

Some programs were never needed. They exist only because

powerful special interest groups succeeded in pushing them

through Congress. Claiming to pursue national objectives,

Congress, at times, funds programs that guarantee profits to

specific industries by restricting imports, raising prices, or

paying direct and unnecessary subsidies.

Special interest groups come in all shapes and sizes and

their privileges are as diverse. Producers of crops, residents of

certain areas, and holders of some occupations have all succeeded

in persuading Congress that their needs are special and their

claim on special treatment is deserving.

Action: Eliminate federal support payments for wool and mohair.33

During World War II and the Korean conflict, the U.S. was

forced to import about half the wool needed for military

uniforms. To cut dependence on foreign suppliers, Congress in

1954 passed the National Wool Act, providing direct payments to

American wool producers. The more wool a producer sold, the

greater the

government subsidy. In 1960, the Pentagon removed wool from its

list of strategic materials. But the Wool Act remained in

effect--a tribute to adept lobbying.

Between 1994 and 1999, wool subsidies will cost an estimated

$923 million. About half the payments will go to ranchers who

raise Angora goats for mohair--a product that is 80 percent

exported. So American taxpayers will subsidize the price of

mohair sweaters overseas! In some years, subsidies provide more

income than sales. The 1990 mohair checks, for example, totalled

$3.87 for every dollar's worth of mohair sold.

Today, about half the beneficiaries receive only $44 a year

each. But the top one percent of sheep raisers capture a quarter

of the money--nearly $100,000 each. The national interest does

not require this program. It provides an unnecessary subsidy for

the wealthy.

Action: Eliminate federal price supports for honey.34

World War II also brought us federal subsidies for honey

production. During the war, honey was declared essential because

the military used bees' wax to wrap ammunition, and citizens

replaced rationed sugar with honey. When honey prices dropped

after the war, the federal government began subsidizing honey


The program was intended to be temporary--to last until

there were enough honeybees available for pollination. But more

than 40 years later, every bee keeper in the U.S. is eligible for

federal loans. In 1992, the federal government paid 7 cents a

pound more to borrow money than it charged bee keepers. Taxpayers

paid the difference. If it were to scrap the program, Congress

would save taxpayers $15 million over the next six years.

Action: Rescind all unobligated contract authority and

appropriations for existing highway demonstration projects.35

The practice of directing federal highway funds toward

spending on specific demonstration projects--and away from

regular state-level allocations--is increasing. This is not, for

several reasons, a good trend.

In 1991, the General Accounting Office (GAO) examined the

contributions of demonstration projects--which range from paving

a gravel road to building a multi-lane highway--to the nation's

overall highway needs. Looking specifically at the $1.3 billion

authorized to fund 152 projects under the 1987 Surface

Transportation and Uniform Relocation and Assistance Act, GAO

found that "most of the projects...did not respond to states' and

regions' most critical federal-aid needs." Indeed, in more than

half the cases, the projects weren't even included in regional

and state plan--typically because officials believed the projects

would provide only limited benefits. GAO also discovered that 10

projects--worth $31 million in demonstration funds--were for

local roads not even entitled to receive federal highway funding.

In other words, many highway demonstration projects are little

more than federal pork.

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