National Performance Review Appendix A - Recommendations By Agency The layout is typical business analysis format. Columns with the agency in question to the left and two columns to the right. The two columns to the right are to demonstrate any "change in spending" and "change in revenues". It looks like this: Fiscal Impact, 1994-99
(Millions of Dollars)
Change in Change in
Recommendation Spending Revenues
Agency For International Dev.
AID01 Re-define and Focus AID's $000.00 $000.00
Text of recommendations Now most folks, including the media or news department personnel will thumb through appendix A and find 21 pages with an average of 10-13 agency recommendations for each of the eighteen federal agencies spread before them: assuming they do that, rather than simply read the White House press release aloud (lips moving), they will assume, as Gore hoped, that some rather in-depth empirical methodology was applied and the numbers (the $s) are there, so they will skip to the totals and accept Gore's word on it . ...Bad idea. First of all, it isn’t at all represented in Appendix A that a savings of $108 billion exists in a breakdown of recommendations. Appendix A’s recommendations, so impressive visually, amount to only $36.4 billion in savings from 1994 - 1999. In Appendix C which is but two pages we are told how they came to state $108 billion when only $36.4 billion are actually recorded. It is stated this way, The NPR recommendations yield $108 billion in savings for the 5 year period, FY 1995-1999. $36.4 billion result from the specific changes in individual agencies that we detailed in Appendix A. The remaining $71 billion result from government-wide changes explained here. (Appendix C, pg. 156)
The changes "explained here" in Appendix C are a short three sections of 5 or 6 (A-F) lines each and section 4, of exactly three sentences. Each of the four sections titled... 1) Streamlining The Bureaucracy Through Reengineering.
2) Reinventing Federal Procurement. 3) Reengineering Through Information Technology 4) Intra-governmental Administrative Costs ....begin with the following line:..."These estimates assume."
...then the assumed estimates are laid out. For instance, 2)b. Savings can be generated by a variety of reforms... including simplified acquisition thresholds, labor law reforms, IT (information technology), procurement reforms, etc. Under 4; "The estimate assumes that over 75% of the state and local governments will accept a fee-for-service option in place of existing cost reimbursement procedures from FY 1995-1999 in return for greater administrative flexibility." That is a great deal to assume! In fact, the entire assumption of Appendix C is one big presumption. Appendix A could only pin down in actual dollar cost savings $36.4 billion; after an exercise in analytical footwork, we are to "believe" in the "assumptions" underlying the remaining $71 billion "estimates"! If this isn't in the realm of metaphysics then I have little left to say. Gore is a metaphysician of the 1990s. Many will take his word for it as evangelicals do from their preachers. The new priesthood is becoming clearer. Back now, we return to Appendix A. Return to the above outline of how Appendix A’s layout was formatted. The two columns to the right of the agency area being "reinvented" were to house the dollar amounts in either spending or receipts. There are listed a total of 516 categories, half spending and half receipts. 516 areas which presumably list the fractional amounts that total the estimated $36.4 billion saved by reinvention. Of that 516 only 92 even have an amount noted. Sometimes a not insignificant amount such as $1,041.1 (in millions) but often just a trifle like $.05 (in millions). In any case, of the 21 pages of Appendix A’s workup something less than 18% of the listings ever demonstrate the slightest dollar change in FY 1995-1999. What is listed in the two categories instead of dollar amounts are the acronyms "cbe" and “na”, as well as an asterisk (one*, two**, or three***). A footnote in small type explains these symbols. *Fiscal estimates were made for 1994 only where action could impact spending in that year. Most estimates cover 1995-99. Estimates shown are for cumulative budget authority changes. Negative numbers indicate reduced spending.
**The NPR recommends that these savings be redirected to alternative uses.
Savings totals exclude these amounts.
***Savings will be invested in the program to serve additional customers.
cbe -- cannot be estimated (due to data limitations or uncertainties about
implementation time lines).
na -- not applicable -- recommendation improves efficiency or redirects
resources but does not directly reduce budget authority. Let's review that briefly. A number that does appear in one of the two categories of spending or receipts "savings", is to be redirected to alternative uses. "Savings" totals then exclude these amounts. Most assuredly -- the amount of "savings" isn't saved! Under *** the "savings" are kept to serve additional customers. Then they are not savings at all you see. Add the six categories listed as savings with the asterisk(s) denoting no savings and of the 516 categories (of presumed savings) only 92 are with amounts -- but six are not really savings, which means the fraction is in reality only 86/516. But things only get more twisted when the remaining 430 categories are “cbe” or “na”, which is clearly not savings either because the resources are "redirected" or "cannot be estimated". But then how much of Appendix C’s “assumptions” about “estimates” can we really believe? It is clear to me that the American voter wanted some serious change. Change in money spent and a serious reduction in the $4.5 trillion National Debt. Ross Perot received 21% of the votes in 39 states, around 19-20 million people and they want exactly that,...change. That being the Perot appeal,...i.e. a good businessman that’ll fix what’s wrong. Indeed, Bill Clinton thanked God for being elected President, he should have thanked Ross Perot. Clinton received less votes (43% of the popular) than Michael Dukakis received when Dukakis lost to Bush. Clinton said it was a Mandate for Change -- that is just the title of their book, and it is demonstrably not what we’re getting here. Okay I’m not being entirely fair... I hear the whining already, “but he is saving us the $36.4 billion.” Yes that may be true, if all the assumptions underlying the estimates hold. Let us assume along, shall we? Where does Gore and Clinton (both of them) find the real cuts in spending? On whom does the ax fall? Ignoring the miniscule amounts, read them for yourself I suggest, let us look at the larger savings (in millions of dollars):
$ 923.00 million by cutting wool & mohair subsidies.
$1,673.00 million by closing USDA offices.
$ 175.00 removing eligibility of some (educational institutions).
$ 45.0 raise alcohol dealers taxable levels.
$900.0 limit compensation and allowances for reservists.
$4,0101.0 find Social Security benefits that are paid and shouldn't be.
$1,439.8 manufacturers of medical equipment to pay for FDA "services".
$ 13.5 make federal prisoners pay for medical care, etc.
$811.4 raise fees for Veteran's loans.
$500.0 repeal the wine & flavors tax credit. Now, I do not have a problem with some, maybe many, of these objectives. But cutting programs or raising taxes no matter how it is achieved is not exactly “reinventing” anything; Reagan could have done that and did, Bush too. So the savings are not really there as Clinton (both of them) and Gore claim, not by any stretch of the Appendix. There never was the $108 billion at all: less than a third of that amount and the means are primarily simple tax increases or cuts in benefits. That Gore isn’t reinventing this area of government, (governments are always less than candid) comes as no surprise. But why the 170 page NPR report that says one thing but doesn’t deliver? Why the 170 pages of what appears to be an in-depth analysis of each agency’s areas that may be reinvented? Is there an underlying motive for the deception? Is the confusion sown for what Gore believes to be a more important goal that needed the lengthy NPR report to give it the authoritative look? The Real NPR Objectives Now we come to a need to thoroughly review and research the NPR report. Without a thorough knowledge of certain fundamental policy changes already in effect one would be at some disadvantage. In fact, if you are not aware of policy agendas already in law like Federal Telecommunications System 2000 (FTS 2000), or Executive Orders #11490 and #12333, which apply to jurisdictional alterations for Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), you will simply not see at all what is being proposed. Kind of like watching a 3-D movie without the glasses, the movie can be seen -- it’s there after all -- but you’ll miss the real effects. Reinventing FEMA This example is the best one for the 3-D metaphor. Neither area proposed (below), affected any change in spending or in receipts; both were “na” but they have effects I do not think Clinton (both of them), Gore, and I’d add Janet Reno here ...would have you fully understand. It’s not just Gorespeak now -- we’re in the Orwellian loop. Federal Emergency Management Agency
FEMA A01 Shift Emphasis toPreparing forand Responding to the Consequences of All Disasters. FEMA’s early focus was on preparedness for nuclear war. The current world situation and recent natural disasters highlight the need for FEMA to continue to shift its resources to respond to all hazards. FEMA 04 Develop ASkilled Management Team Among Political Appointees and Career Staff. Leadership has been the weak link in FEMA’s mission as the federal government’s emergency management coordinator. These recommendations strive to improve FEMA leadership to successfully implement its new, all-hazards mission. Throughout much of the Report you can correlate the itemized recommendations from Appendix A to ascertain what is more specific about the assertions given; one can do it by going to the text, chapters one through four. Here, for most areas of agency reforms, there is a short synopsis of what is meant by what is said from the thumbnail sketches given in Appendix A. Not so with the items culled from A’s FEMA agenda. Not one word in the text or the Executive Summary. Without a clearer understanding of FEMA as agency and agency of last resort in many cases, one is left with semantics as the defining element. But what is said or written isn’t always what the reader believes to be true. If word’s definitions are altered for say, in-house or inter-agency usage, from the normal way people would expect the word’s definitional meaning to be, then you have arrived at Orwell’s Gorespeak. Reread the two FEMA exhibits above. The text reads fairly simple at first. It seems clear, the Russian threat over and FEMA ought to concentrate more on things like floods and such we recently experienced. Sure, there are always new disasters that could be better addressed. Improve the leadership’s weak link so it can better utilize resources to implement its new all-hazards mission. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy knowing all hazards I may face are prepared for by FEMA. A mission of mercy as it were, designed for me and mine. That may be what it sounds like. But protecting you from all new hazards is not what the government wants from FEMA. What the government wants from FEMA is to protect itself from the new all-hazards...you are that hazard, you are that mission. It is true that the NPR report’s text never mentions FEMA let alone define its new all-hazards mission. To ascertain what these terms mean one must spend a little time researching the term’s new legal definition. The new definitional phrases government uses are always defined in their specifics -- somewhere: Usually a piece of legislation, study group report, inter-agency memoranda that is within the FEMA’s protocol itself, or the occasional executive order published in the Federal Register. With a little luck we found FEMA‘s new all hazards mission definition in a piece of legislation of recent vintage outlining what FEMA will do in our future. Senate Bill 995, 103rd Congress, May 20, 1993. A bill sponsored by an unusual group of liberal to left Senators, primarily women: Ms Mikulski, Boxer, Feinstein, along with Mr. Kerry, Graham and Glenn. Its short title is the Federal Disaster Preparedness and Response Act of 1993. To summarize, the bill is needed so when the term "all-hazards" is defined you'll know what, and maybe why Gore left it out altogether from the NPR report. To wit: Sec. 2 Declaration of Purpose.
The purpose of this act is to- t) shift the emphasis of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from nuclear attack-related activities to an all-hazards approach;
Section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122) is amended-
1) by striking paragraph (2) and inserting the
following new paragraph (2):
11)All Hazards - The term "all hazards" means emergencies and disasters resulting from natural, accidental or man-caused events, including, without limitation, civil disturbances... Okay, we’re getting a clearer picture, like the 3-D glasses we can see what is really there. FEMA isn’t to be cut back now that there is no threat of nuclear war or any war on U.S. soil. In fact it is re-assigned to a new mission to anticipate the risks of civil disturbances (L.A. Riots, Waco incident, tax-protests, Act Up on AIDS, Militias, etc.) in our various cities. Emergency Grants (Sec.204) are now readied for Coordination With State and Local Officials (Sec. 322 (3)) with staffed Disaster Strike Teams (Sec.322 (a & b)). Why all the fuss? The L.A. Riots (not really a riot at all, I was there on the street every day and a week after -- it was Mardi Gras: I even gave a lecture at South Central Freemont High School during riot week) were not that horrible. When you understand what the rest of the NPR report calls for, below, you'll see why our government might be worried about an outbreak of civil disturbances. More on that later. How far is Clinton (both of them) and Gore prepared to go with their new found mission? Sec. 11. Reorganization of FEMA
(A) The Director shall restructure FEMA to -
1) implement an all hazards approach to...
A) minimize the effects of natural disasters, civil disturbances...
2) utilize resources dedicated to defense-related programs on the date of enactment of this Act... The Pentagon’s defense related resources are to be utilized to minimize the effects of any civil disturbance. The turning inward against our own citizens, the repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 was affected in 1973 with Executive Order 11727: thus allowing the U.S. Military to be used in traditional law enforcement support roles; Executive Order 12333 (1982) allows CIA operations in the same role due to a perceived drug threat to National Security; and finally Executive Order 11490 (1973) transfers all powers to the President and Executive branch in case of, ... any national emergency type situation that might conceivably confront the Nation. (Emergency Powers Act 1973) The scenario only awaits its future implementation under appropriate cause. According to the Congressional Research Library Staff E.O. 11490 is in standby status, 1993; since 1973 that mission was for nuclear attack, no longer. Centralized Authority Making Government Work Better? The NPR report has too many areas to outline separately in depth as we did with the FEMA section. But a more brief overview is needed because not only was FEMA reinvented as they prefer to call it, but every enforcement or police arm of government is called upon to reinvent itself: Centralize itself in reality. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (the ATF) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) are to be placed under the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) jurisdiction. Once accomplished the regulatory and revenue functions of the ATF will be placed under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Reinventing Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has an interesting side to it. Under one section of Appendix A it is recommended that the enforcement arm of ATF be placed under the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the Justice Department, effectively making ATF and DEA (Customs next?) an arm of the Executive Branch and in close approximate control and direction of (today 1993) Janet Reno, U.S. Attorney General. Without dragging the Waco incident into this analysis, whereby over 85 men, women and children were slaughtered in an attempt to serve a search warrant, one cannot help but feel that this would be far too much power and authority for one individual of the Executive Branch to have. But there is more to be rightly concerned with. In a separate section of Appendix A it is recommended that the regulatory functions of ATF be placed separately under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for administration. This is an interesting alternative. This office knows a number of active and retired DEA agents, Michael Levine and I have done a number of interviews together on the drug war and became fast friends. None of the DEA folks want anything to do with the ATF guys (although I have worked closely with a number of ATF intelligence Special Agents and I do not agree). They are considered "cowboys" by the other agencies, who regularly violate the law and citizen's rights as well. FBI doesn't want them either. The IRS, whose reputation is even worse than ATF is not such an unlikely place to place them but it was only the regulatory aspect that is being considered. That has the effect of giving the IRS the name of every taxpayer (ReGo calls them customers) that owns a gun. I think it is clear to everyone in and outside of government that the real threat assessment for, say, the new "all hazards" FEMA mission, is without question, the armed tax protestor. A category of people likely to grow exponentially over the next decade. Not the least reason being Reinventing Government itself. But add to that, the passage of the Brady Bill and its call for instantaneous background checks of each gun purchaser. This having been done, before anyone can legally buy a handgun, it is understood by any thinking person that that very same computer check constitutes gun registration and implied consent. Now, guns registered and or licensed (which is at best its second cousin) and placed under the IRS for regulatory administration and the picture is clear. What constitutes a denial of gun purchase rights under Brady? Is it any stretch of the law’s jurisdiction to consider failure to file, pay, report, etc., and therefore non-compliance as law breaking and the reason to deny the law-breaker with ownership of the gun in question? Brady already constitutes gun registration, reinventing government with ATF’s regulatory functions under IRS assures policing of who will in the future be allowed to own a gun. Breaking the law, or being presumed to be doing so under the ever changing IRS rules, will assure that millions of otherwise law abiding citizens, will be denied that fundamental right of the Second Amendment. The British under King George would have dearly loved to have had the Brady Bill in place with ReGo at IRS a few generations prior to 1776. A very different America would be in place today with the King’s English ‘n all. Consolidation of non-military international broadcasting and the creation of a single civilian polar satellite system as well as the merger of the President's Intelligence Oversight Board's functions with the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, are but a few of the NPR's centralization efforts. Every area is affected with centralization.