ACtion Magazine - April 2016 - (Page 10)

Is government really getting bigger? W ith another Presidential election almost upon us, the candidates complain about the size of the federal government and pledge to decrease its size and to reduce governmental regulation. So has the federal government grown as substantially as politicians claim? In characterizing types of lies, Mark Twain remarked, "There are lies, damned lies and statistics." The Office of Personnel Management (the OPM) publishes statistics about the federal government workforce, including a Historical Federal Workforce Table showing the total government employment figures from 1962 through 2014. According to that Table, federal personnel in 1962 totaled 5,354,000 and in 2014, that total was 4,185,000; no overall growth there. In terms of percentages, the biggest increase in personnel over that period is in the legislative and judicial branches; federal personnel in those branches in 2014 is more than double its number in 1962. A Forbes Magazine article in 2013 examined the federal employment issue from a different perspective. The author of that article looked at the total number of government employees (GE) as a percentage of the population (P); or what he called the GE/P Ratio. The higher the ratio, the higher the percentage of government employees relative to the total population. The GE/P Ratio was then calculated as of the end of each of the last five presidential terms (though obviously only at of the end of President Obama's first term). The GE/P Ratio with regard to President Reagan was 7.2%, for Presidents Bush (H.W.) and Clinton it was 7.3%, for President Bush (W.) it was 7.4%, and for President Obama, it was 6.9% through December 2012. The authors of an analysis in February 2012 by the nonpartisan policy organization, Center on Budget and Policy 10 ACTION * April 2016 Priorities, state that the data does not support the politician claims (and public perception) that the size and reach of the federal government are growing dramatically. Among other findings was the finding that federal program spending except for Social Security and Medicare has fallen below its 40-year historical average and was projected to decline further under current policies. The currently aging population and the accompanying rising health care costs are the primary reasons for the rise in Social Security and Medicare spending over time. So, there is a balancing of health care costs against " ...the data does not support the politician claims... new medical treatments and medications. As a person who is closing in on eligibility for such programs, I (like almost all Americans) want any cuts in some other program that does not affect me. The estimated share of the population aged 65 and over this year is 14.8 percent (it was 10.4 percent in 1975), and it is expected to reach 18.6 percent in 2026. So how do you determine which agencies should be cut back (or possibly even eliminated)? One of the main agencies to come under such fire is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). An article in a March 2013 edition of Forbes Magazine was entitled, "The EPA: The Worst Of Many Rogue Federal Agencies". The author cites to multiple instances where the EPA tailored the science to support its conclusions without allowing key research to be submitted to peer review. Members of MACS are certainly familiar with the EPA and the Clean Air Act Keith Leonard, Esquire Amendments of 1990. As is true of many federal laws, there is a designated federal agency which is supposed to promulgate regulations implementing the purposes for a law and its provisions. The EPA is directed by provisions of the Clean Air Act to establish national ambient air quality standards for certain common and widespread pollutants based on the latest science. Specifically, in Section 812 of the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to conduct scientifically reviewed studies of the impact of the Clean Air Act on the public health, economy and environment of the United States - How do the overall health, welfare, ecological, and economic benefits of Clean Air Act programs compare to the costs of these programs? Despite many criticisms of the agency, the EPA's website touts three studies (covering 1970 to 2020) which show the benefits of the programs and standards required by the Clean Air Act Amendments significantly exceed costs. Links to those studies can be found at https:// benefits-and-costs-clean-air-act. Read those studies and draw your own conclusions; and guess how many employees were required to produce each such study - your guess will at least be as good as mine. ❆ Remember that laws are constantly changing and are often not uniform throughout the United States. Do not place unqualified reliance on the information in this article. Always contact legal counsel for detailed advice. If you have a particular issue, law or problem you would like to see addressed in a future column, please contact me at KLeonard@LeonardSciolla. com, or Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP, 215-567-1530.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ACtion Magazine - April 2016

ACtion Magazine - April 2016
Training is key offering at 2016 MACS
Networking at MACS
Service Port
Leonard's law
Virtual View
Last Watch
By the Numbers
Cooling Corner
Industry News
Association News
New Products and Services

ACtion Magazine - April 2016