A Really Good Idea

On October 24, The Federal Times posted an article about relocating some of the Washington bureaucracy. What a great idea. We need to move some of the people in charge of government agencies closer to the people they are supposed to serve. We also need to break up the concentration of power that is the Washington swamp.

It is not a coincidence that many of the wealthiest counties in America are suburbs of Washington, D.C.

According to Wikipedia (a questionable source, but I suspect this is correct):

Presented below are the 25 highest-income counties (with populations of 65,000 or greater) in the United States by median household income according to the 2016 American Community Survey[4] prepared by the US Census Bureau. Five of the counties are located in the state of Maryland, five are in Virginia, four in California, three in New Jersey, two in New York, and one each in: Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas. (Disclaimer: This only includes counties that participated in this single survey)

The Federal Times reports:

The Trump administration’s decision to move three agency components outside the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area has spurred a sizeable amount of controversy, but Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., want to keep going with that trend.

The two senators introduced a bill Oct. 23 that would move about 90 percent of the workforce at the headquarters for 10 federal agencies to other states around the country and pop the “bubble” of D.C. federal employment.

“Every year Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars fund federal agencies that are mainly located in the D.C. bubble. That’s a big part of the problem with Washington: they’re too removed from the rest of America,” said Hawley in a news release.

“The HIRE Act will move policymakers directly into the communities they serve, creating thousands of jobs for local communities and saving taxpayers billions of dollars along the way.”

Under the proposal, the Department of Agriculture would move to Missouri, Commerce to Pennsylvania, Education to Tennessee, Energy to Kentucky, Health and Human Services to Indiana, Housing and Urban Development to Ohio, Interior to New Mexico, Labor to West Virginia, Transportation to Michigan and Veterans Affairs to South Carolina.

Obviously there are objections to this idea. The swamp is not enthusiastic about being split up!

The article concludes:

About 20 percent of D.C. residents are employed directly by the federal government, according to OPM and population data, while each of the 10 states slated for agency relocation under the bill have about .3 to one percent of their populations working for the federal government.

But Washington has an incredibly small population when compared with these states, and even if the entire D.C. federal workforce were to be relocated equally across the 10 states, the state with the lowest percent of federal workforce, Michigan, would only move from .3 percent to .4 percent.

The bill is bound to get strong pushback not only from the Democratically controlled House, which has been opposed to many of the Trump administration’s smaller moves, but also from the Virginia and Maryland members of Congress, whose states and districts would be likely to lose a number of jobs due to a relocation.

Relocation might also clear up the incredible traffic jam that is Washington, D.C. I suspect that it also would be cheaper to run government agencies in places where renting or owning office space would be considerably lower.

This will probably never happen, but it is a great idea.

Common Sense Is Not Always Appreciated

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about some recent comments by Dr. Ben Carson.

The article shows us how a smear campaign works. The article reports:

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson issued an agency-wide email Friday attacking a “blatant mischaracterization” of his comments about transgenderism during his visit to California this week, which reportedly offended bureaucrats in San Francisco.

The Washington Post broke the story on Thursday, citing “three people present” at a HUD meeting:

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson expressed concern about “big, hairy men” trying to infiltrate women’s homeless shelters during an internal meeting, according to three people present who interpreted the remarks as an attack on transgender women.

While visiting HUD’s San Francisco office this week, Carson also lamented that society no longer seemed to know the difference between men and women, two of the agency staffers said.

Carson’s remarks visibly shocked and upset many of the roughly 50 HUD staffers who attended Tuesday’s meeting, and prompted at least one woman to walk out in protest, the staffers said.

A HUD official, who had not been present at the meeting, defended Carson, saying he never used derogatory language against transgendered people. The official added that “Carson was referring to men who pretend to be women to gain access to battered women’s shelters — and not singling out transgender women as “big, hairy men.”

The article concludes:

In May, Carson announced a new HUD rule that would allow local homeless shelters to decide for themselves if they wanted to use biological sex, not gender identity, as a basis for deciding how to provide housing. The policy under the Obama administration had been a one-size-fits-all rule forcing all shelters to recognize gender identity.

Carson has decided that the safety of homeless women must come before transgender concerns about identity — and before the political sentiments of agency bureaucrats based in a state that has failed to tackle growing homelessness.

The issue here is the safety of women seeking shelter from abuse. What is to stop an abuser from saying he is transsexual to gain access to a shelter and then terrorizing the women in it? Who wants to be responsible for the first death in a women’s shelter caused by a man who gained access by claiming to be a transsexual when he was not?

The policy here is common sense. It is in place to protect women. Are we willing to sacrifice the safety of abused women in order to placate the transgender movement?