Thought Leadership


“Government has gotten so big…”

June 11, 2014

CongressNot sure this is so much an opinion piece but “just the facts” on an issue that seems to be exploding in Washington. I am talking about “mandated reports by Congress.” The Washington Post recently ran a huge article about this issue and it almost makes one give up on whether or not government can be brought under control.

The Post cited one example of this by referencing a report to Congress, “Dog and Cat Fur Protection.” It requires 15 employees in six federal agencies. When the report is finished it is sent to Congress, per a 2000 law that required it, and once received by Congress nothing happens. Seems the legislators who passed the law aren’t even in Congress anymore and no one else has any need for it.

Now, if you think this is just one little report, consider that Congress is officially expecting 4,291 written reports, from 466 federal agencies and nonprofit groups. These reports aren’t necessarily limited to serious issues like Social Security. There are even reports required on the House of Representatives employee hair salon.

What is really interesting is that Congress isn’t even sure how many of these reports are actually turned in, let alone that anyone is reading them.

I could go on and on, much like The Post article, but I think you get the idea. Government has gotten so big that no one has any idea how to ever get it under control.

Oh yeah – one more for you. The Social Security Administration has for more than 25 years sent Congress a long annual report about its printing operations. The report even includes the ages and serial numbers of individual pieces of equipment – like forklifts, etc. The report takes 95 employees and 87 workdays to complete. I rest my case!

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