The Federal Bureaucracy hires thousands of employees to complete specific goals. Those employed attempt to achieve these goals proficiently, however their goals and procedures are part of a continual struggle for power; which inevitably leads to ineffective behavior known as red tape (Pearson Education). Many have attempted to change the way the federal bureaucracy does business in order to help improve the services provided to the public. The federal bureaucracy falls into many categories – line agencies and staff agencies. Line agencies provide services while staff agencies gather information for the chief executive officer.
Line agencies are comprised of executive departments, government agencies and corporations, independent regulatory commissions, and other central agencies and services. It is these line agencies that constrict and regulate the lives of citizens (Pearson Education). For the most part, the executive branch controls the federal bureaucracy; however Congress monitors the bureaucracy to ensure that it acts properly. Many if not all people are affected on a daily basis by the federal bureaucracy some more than others depending on what their daily life consists of.
While some of these regulations are excessive the agencies were created as a way to protect lives and the environment. One area that regulates all citizens is taxes. No one can escape this. If property is owned taxes are paid each year to not only the state but also the county in which property is located. Aside from property tax there is also sales tax which people will pay even if property is owned or not. Everyone who works will pay a federal tax at the end of the year on their wages and interest earned. Each household or person will pay taxes based on their marital status, dependent, and gross yearly wage.
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There are those few select that will not have to pay a federal tax due to the fact that they make a salary that is below the poverty line (IRS, 2008). Aside from the IRS regulating daily living, the Federal Bureaucracy also has a hand in regulating our transportation. The Department of Transportation (DOT) was created by Congress in 1966 and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson to ensure efficient, safe and prompt transportation for the nation. It was created to provide a convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people (DOT 2010).
The mission of the DOT is to develop and coordinate policies that will provide a proficient and economical national transportation system while keeping the best interest of the environment a priority. However, with all these new forms of transportation came pollution something that our nation has been and is continuing to struggle with. Just as the United States needs the military to protect issues around the world, it also needs an agency to protect its natural resources at home.
President Nixon proposed The Environmental Act in 1970 to fulfill the role of protecting the land, air, and water along with the health of the citizens living in it. The EPA was established not only to reverse years of neglect from industrial growth, but also as a way to ensure that the government, industry and public take better care to protect the delicate balance of nature for upcoming generations. The primary responsible of the EPA is to enforce environmental regulations such as the clean air act.
This agency also has the task of helping Congress pass environmental laws and has the power to issue sanctions and levy fines. On a local level the EPA assists state government with their own environmental concerns by providing research grants and graduate fellowships, working with the public on environmental projects helping them get directly involved with the cause. Another area that has regulations on our daily lives is in healthcare. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States Government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans.
They represent a quarter of all federal expenditures, and oversee more grant dollars than all other federal agencies combined. The Department of Health and Humans services works hand in hand with state and local governments, and many HHS funded services are provided at the local level by state agencies. This department includes over 300 programs covering a wide variety of different services. Some include financial assistance, head start programs, and child and substance abuse. One service in particular the FDA or Food and Drug Administration has become a well known federal agency and effects the lives of all.
The FDA assures the safety of foods and cosmetics, and the safety and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. These products account for almost 25 cents of every dollar in consumer spending. FDA is responsible for advancing the public health by aiding in the progress of speeding up advances that make medicines more effective and affordable. The Food and Drug Administration also has responsibility for regulating the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of tobacco products to protect the public health and to reduce tobacco use by minors.
What most are not aware of is that the FDA plays a very important role in the Nations counterterrorism as well. They do this by ensuring the security of the food supply along with helping develop medical products to aide in the response to emerging public health threats. The FDA acts as a watchdog for our society to ensure the companies are complying with standards that are safe and have the patient’s best interest at heart. Without the FDA regulating society doctors would be able to hand out drugs and write prescriptions without knowing what reactions and side effects could happen to the patient.
While this is only five federal agencies that affect the lives of many on a daily basis, it is hard to pick one out since each one is very important. The one of most importance would seem to be the Environmental Protection Agency. The main objective of the EPA was to streamline several other programs as a pollution control. The Clean Air Act, Clean Water and Toxic Substance control were all established to control pollution. Currently the EPA is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to get regulations on Greenhouse Gas emissions.
They are taking appropriate steps to enable the production of a new generation of clean vehicles on light duty vehicles. These steps were presented by President Obama in May 2010. Finally on September 30, 2010 The EPA and NHTSA issued a notice of intent to begin developing new standards for greenhouse gases and fuel economy for light-duty vehicles for the 2017-2025 model years (EPA, 2010). This goes to show that while 2017 seems like a long time the EPA is taking the initiative to make a difference and continue to find ways to help the environment and public health.
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