STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Drain the Swamp, or Spread the Swamp? Lawmakers Pitch Relocating Agency Headquarters
By The Daily Bell Staff - December 09, 2017

The U.S. government plans to spew occupying forces far and wide within the United States.

Or… The U.S. government will distribute the income of the bureaucratic class across distressed regions of the country.

Are they spreading the wealth, or spreading the swamp?

The government’s definition of decentralizing is certainly not the same as ours. They think moving government agencies’ central offices out of DC is decentralizing the government. It’s like an Amelia Bedelia book. Well, the people said they wanted decentralized government!

But generally, when people advocate decentralizing government, they mean the power structure, not the physical presence of government agents.

But still, it is not so clear whether moving agencies out of DC would be a good thing or a bad thing.

The Good

DC is an echo chamber. It is an insular club where people never see the American people they supposedly work for, represent, and serve.

While only 15% of the federal workforce is in Washington, it is where most of the top decision makers live and work. David Fontana, a professor at George Washington University Law School who is writing a book about decentralizing the federal government, says their bubble is growing evermore insulated from reality.

Embedding government agencies throughout the country could make top bureaucrats more empathetic towards the average American when they see how their decisions hurt them.

Citizens’ concerns might actually be heard when government officials are their neighbors. Instead of a tally on a spreadsheet, officials would hear it from a friend.

Increasing physical distance between bureaucrats, lawmakers, and other agencies could cut down on corruption, behind the scenes string-pulling, and closed-door collusion to harm the American people.

DC suburbs include the five richest counties in the entire United States. The lowest median household income among these counties is $108,706 per year! That is almost twice the median household income of the United States at large. Altogether, 9 of the 20 highest income counties in the USA are suburbs of DC.

Instead of that money remaining in the DC area, some of it would be spread out across the country. Original tax dollars paid out as salaries to government employees would be spent in a local small town establishments instead of in DC.

The Bad

When the Chinese invaded Tibet, they sought to destroy their culture by importing Chinese businesses, citizens, and government agents. Of course, they claimed to be improving the economies of impoverished Tibetan regions. And technically, they have made Tibet wealthier by injecting billions of dollars into the region.

DC could end up exporting its culture across the United States. Greed, corruption, crony-deals, and power hungry ideals would come with the money. Local officials would become like crime bosses, trading favors for federal cash.

The Stanford economist representing Silicon Valley in Congress sees opportunity to strategically seed regions of the country with pieces of the federal bureaucracy that can benefit them — and that they can benefit.

In Tibet, the less educated locals end up doing menial jobs, while the best gigs go to imported Chinese nationals. Will the people living near the new government offices become a servant class? It would be the ultimate reversal of what the government is intended to do: serve the people.

One of the most oppressive government agencies is the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM controls 260 million acres of land, 90% of which is west of the Mississippi. That’s why some lawmakers are calling for the central office to be relocated.

But that is essentially inviting the fox into the henhouse. The BLM has confiscated land, stolen cattle, and issued excessive fines to hikers and property owners. They took 90,000 acres of land along a river in Texas, and refuse to even talk to property owners.

This could escalate and increase occurrences of standoffs like the one on the Bundy Ranch. The agencies would essentially become an occupying force.

The Ugly

Would the American people come to see up close how terrible their government really is? Or would they become more sympathetic–or even corrupt–by the presence of government agents in their communities?

“Decentralizing” the government offices could make the U.S. divide into factions based on what agency is embedded in particular areas. It is already bad enough having Congressmen fight over federal funds. Things could get messy if they advocate for a particular agency which most their constituents belong to. Then you might have the BLM battling with the National Parks Service.

“There is all this unused office space outside of Detroit where the FBI could build for not much money,” said Paul Kupiec, a scholar at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute. That city, unlike suburban Washington, desperately needs the economic surge such an agency would bring, he said. “Why are we spending billions of dollars on these headquarters in Washington?”

Will the FBI, then, run Michigan? They would have some pretty intense pull in the local scene. And perhaps any Congressmen who don’t want to help out Michigan lawmakers might end up… under investigation.

What Would Really Help…

Maybe it isn’t the government agencies which need to stay away from DC, but the politicians. In the internet age, why do they need to spend tax dollars flying to DC, and staying in swanky accommodations, eating expensive food?

All the members of Congress can simply video call in for their votes. They can talk to other politicians via government technology that records their meetings. That way, there is a record of their communications. That means fewer backroom deals and more pressure from constituents. No more hiding in DC!

We can dream.

What do you think? Would distributing the government offices across America breed harmony or resentment? Would government officials become empathetic towards their fellow Americans, or simply abuse them from a closer range? Would the people in surrounding areas be enriched by tax-funded salaries, or sink into the swamp?

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  • juergenwahl

    It is virtually impossible to reform a system-intact, highly corrupt, powerful government which also controls the important societal institutions. The best, but very slim, chance for bringing about real, lasting, and productive change would stem from imposition of strict term limits for every political office, and the termination of political exemption for any and all laws passed. Political office should be all about humble service to constituencies, and most definitely not a means for gaining permanent membership in the elite class.

    • I agree and that is why it is better to unwind it a bit at a time ant not play into this kind of deception . That is the best way to grow government smaller , not bigger ! And now we have plenty of cronies to prosecute and get rid of, a sort f freebie double whammy !

      • Number 6

        I Agree in principle growing government smaller is the best option for the stability of society and there are too many people deeply indoctrinated in the idea of government anyway to give it up just like that.

        The problem we have is the gang is running government and our media and most importantly the banking system, and they’ve got no intention of growing it smaller, their ultimate goal Left and Right alike is to grow it bigger, world government in fact ! And their deadline is 2030 and they intend to bring it about by destroying national government and through the environmental movement, which is the cornerstone of the UN’s agenda 2030 and the plan for”sustainable” development, the the ludicrous idea the spec that is mankind is destroying the planet,
        So we must surrender our money and our liberty to save the planet.

        The narrative is clear “Nationalist” government “Actors” like Trump are a threat to the planet. We’ve had their media feed us anti nationalist propaganda for over 100 years and pseudo scientific environmentalist propaganda for the past 50 years, its absolutely blatant. They want to collapse the US government, its necessary for the implementation of world government which is their ultimate goal !

        The only way to beat it is for more people to wake up, and they are slowly as their plan becomes more advanced and more apparent, and to stop paying tax, without OUR funding they cant bribe people to implement world government,

  • James Higginbotham

    that giant CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE CALLED GOVT NEEDS DESTROYED AND THEN REDUCED TO JUST WHAT’S NECESSARY TO RUN IT.

    • mrpoohead

      So that they can remain owned by the 1%?

  • This is an understatement to be sure ! “their bubble is growing evermore insulated from reality.” And consider we already have massive fraud and political corruption at every state level already in place. Some far worse than others like Kawleefornya, Oregon and Washington as well as Illinois, Michigan and many others where it is rampant !

    The answer is to get rid of the cronies and simply do not replace many of them, thereby actually shrinking the behemoth bureaucracy that is far too big and well past out of control ! The locations may have some affect at some point, but first things first ! It is all part of the deep state apparatus BHO and Holder created and put on steroids in the last decade. It simply needs to be dismantled just as it was created ! Cost zero to do so !

    Seems to me it is well past time to let some common sense prevail and that too is also FREE and in short supply !

    http://www.downtoearththinking.com/the-war-for-our-minds-.html

  • ThomasJK

    Are you certain that distributing the cost of government (national operating overhead) more widely would somehow magically spread and somehow intensify prosperity rather than spreading and intensifying poverty? The time has come that we must be willing to stop trying to fake it and to get real — as a nation and as a people. Reality does not exist in that strange little foreign country that’s called The District of Columbia.
    I fail to understand how spreading fantasy and the fantastical of government will somehow result in anything that could be considered real. Reducing size and cost of operating departments, bureaus and agencies makes good sense. Spreading the existing garbage dump more uniformly throughout the nation makes no sense.

  • Praetor

    It would definitely make them more vulnerable and seeing how badly they have screwed America for so long, it would scary the H/LL out of them.!!!

  • Gerry

    Stop getting your knickers in a knot over the size or location of your government . The 4.9% of the population of the world which calls itself theUSA will soon be as relevant as Zimbabwe with their rusting carrier fleets hiding in ports from Chinese and Russian submarines. Isolated from all large centres of population who will be linked together by roads and rail The new Silk Road stretching down into Africa. You can trade with Canada ( a joke) Mexico middle and South America who hate you. Enjoy your trillion dollar bank notes and look back on when you abused the world and the exorbitant privilege of the reserve currency. Think Iraq , Afghanistan , Vietnam, Lybia , Syria , some of the countries you liberated. Build the wall it will be needed to keep the people in.

  • NobodysaysBOO

    watch for JEWS in your neighborhoods, when they show up MOVE OUT!!!
    they ARE the US GIVERNMENTS FAVOUITE EMPLOYEES!!!

    PS: David A. Steinberg JUST BOUGHT DISQUS!
    guess who will be MODERATOR NOW???

  • David Zuniga

    At the very end there, you finally touch on the beginning of a solution. Our proposed Bring Congress Home Act (BCHA) builds on the idea floated by Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Steve Pearce (R-NM) in 2013 as the MOBILE Act, allowing members of Congress to work from their home district office by telepresence.

    The BCHA goes much further, first limiting congress to two terms, either house. If in 1929 they could limit the size of the House, supposedly forever, with a mere law rather than an amendment, then they can limit their terms with a law, too.

    Secondly, they must work full-time from a single modest office in their home town and it will be illegal to maintain an office or spend time in DC where they can cozy up to their old playmates, the 100,000+ lobbyists who work(ed) there. They will use today’s fully mature telepresence technology to attend all floor debates, votes, committee meetings, etc. Corporate America has done it for years; time to move our public SERVANTS into this century.

    Of note, every member will maintain one private office with telepresence workstation (basically just a PC with a camera and large monitor) for the exclusive use of the People, when we have to (or want to) testify before any committee or subcommittee of Congress. No more traveling to the Imperium to feel like a mouse before an array of fat cats looking down their noses from a marble dais.

    Third, congressmen will make half their present salary and be limited to a paid staff of two; senators will be limited to a staff of six. No benefits including pensions; we don’t want career criminals, but short-term statesmen.

    Fourth, all operating budgets and ’emergency’ expenditures of Congress will be audited and available for viewing by all citizens. It’s beyond preposterous — it’s maladministration on our part as the apex sovereigns over the Constitution and its creatures — to allow Congress to set its own salaries, benefits, working conditions, staffing levels, office allowances, and benefits without We The People at least reviewing it annually for necessary cuts.

    Of course this BCHA would not be enacted in a million years by the existing fat cats overseeing 750,000+ people and massive staffs. First, we must force our state legislatures to finish ratifying the original First Amendment — yes, the first article in the original, parchment Bill of Rights; look it up. There it is, on parchment, the only one of the 12 articles in the Bill of Rights that has not been fully ratified yet.

    Yet it was the first, the longest, and apparently the most important, for small districts was the *only* subject on which George Washington spoke in plenary session to the 1787 convention! This amendment was passed by Congress and cannot be retracted. It has been ratified by 11 states, so with 27 more it becomes law…and districts shrink to a maximum of 50,000 persons. Too small to amass power or attract the big money without also attracting a great deal of local attention.

    With the US House now broken down into small pieces, campaigns for those 6400 seats will be small, relatively inexpensive, and winnable by average citizen-statesmen, who would now be happy to serve for a maximum of four years since they can do so from a normal office with a staff of only two, in their own community.

    There is much more to TACTICAL CIVICS™ — 21 sweeping reform laws to come after, as explained on our website. In case you don’t feel it yet: in this new Internet-mediated world, Donald Trump is a result, not a cause. This movement began with Moral Majority a generation ago, and went through many iterations: Christian Coalition, Constitution Party, Ron Paul Revolution, TEA Party and many single-issue groups. Kleptocratic, redistributionist oligarchies are on their way to history’s ash heap, soon or late.

    http://TacticalCivics.com

  • David Zuniga

    As to your final suggestion, our proposed Bring Congress Home Act (BCHA) builds on the idea floated by Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Steve Pearce (R-NM) in 2013 as the MOBILE Act, allowing members of Congress to work from their home district office by telepresence, but our BCHA goes much further.

    First, we limit congress to two terms. In 1929 they limited the size of the House, supposedly forever, with a mere law rather than an amendment. They can limit their terms with a law, too.

    Secondly, they will work full-time from a single modest office in their home town; it will be illegal to maintain an office or spend time in DC where they can cozy up to their old playmates, the 100,000+ lobbyists there. They will use today’s fully mature telepresence technology to attend all floor debates, votes, committee meetings, etc. Corporate America has done it for years; time to move our public SERVANTS into this century.

    Every member will maintain one private office with telepresence workstation (just a PC with a camera and large monitor) for the exclusive use of the People, when we need to testify before any committee or subcommittee. No more traveling to the Imperium to feel like a mouse before an array of fat cats looking down their noses from a marble dais.

    Third, congressmen will make half their present salary and be limited to a paid staff of two; senators will be limited to a staff of six; and no benefits or pensions. We want short-term statesmen, not careerists.

    Fourth, all budgets and expenditures of Congress will be audited and viewable by the public. It’s beyond preposterous — it’s maladministration on our part as the apex sovereigns over the Constitution and its creatures — to allow Congress to set its own salaries, benefits, working conditions, staffing levels, office allowances, and benefits without at least reviewing it annually for necessary cuts.

    The BCHA would never be enacted by the existing criminals overseeing 750,000+ people; we must first force our state legislatures to finish ratifying the original First Amendment.

    The first article in the original, parchment Bill of Rights is the only one of the 12 that has not been fully ratified. Yet it was the first, longest, and apparently the most important; small districts was the *only* subject on which George Washington spoke publicly at the 1787 convention.

    This amendment was passed by Congress and cannot be retracted. Ratified by 11 states, with 27 more it becomes law. Districts will shrink to 50,000 persons, maximum; too small to amass power or attract the big money without also attracting a great deal of local attention.

    With the House now broken down into small pieces, campaigns for the 6400 seats will be small, relatively inexpensive, and winnable by average citizen-statesmen who would be willing to serve for up to four years from their community instead of having to move to occupied territory in corrupt DC.

    There is much more to TACTICAL CIVICS™ — 21 sweeping reform laws to come later.

    If you don’t feel it yet: in the new social-mediated world, Donald Trump is a result, not a cause. This movement began with Moral Majority, then Christian Coalition, Constitution Party, Ron Paul Revolution, TEA Party and many single-issue groups.
    Kleptocratic, redistributionist governments are headed for history’s ash heap, in our lifetimes.

    With all this new power at our disposal, the only question is: will We The People finally take the responsibility the Founding Fathers expected of us?

    • Jerry Kellams-Chief

      Peaceful, legal, Constitutional. What better way to return the government of, by, and for the people TO the people? Get on board, folks! (Y)
      tacticalcivics(dot)com

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