The Environmental Protection Agency was founded in the early seventies, like to many other socialist big-government agencies. Over the last 30 years, it has grown to a budget of over $10 billion and 17,000+ employees. Whether it has made a positive or negative impact on our country is a matter of opinion, but the fact is, it costs the American people a lot of money.
So, what would happen if we shut down the EPA? When the idea comes up of shutting down a major government agency like the EPA or DOE, a lot of people immediately think about the things that won’t happen. Some claim that corporations will dump waste in the oceans or CO2 will kill us all.
Since I happen to think the EPA does little good, if any, what I usually think of first is what would happen to the 17,000+ employees and their families if they lost their jobs? It sounds terrible to want to put those people out of work, so what should be done?
Today when I looked up the budget and staffing numbers, I found pretty much what I expected. The EPA costs almost $600,000 per employee to run. Now, obviously that’s not all salaries. There are other expenses such as utilities, office buildings, etc… But, it’s pretty clear that the money saved by shutting down the EPA would be more than sufficient to prop up those 17,000 people until they could find new jobs, plus save us a lot of money in the federal budget.
Also, keep in mind that that $10 billion isn’t producing anything. It’s not adding value to goods or providing services to people who want them. It’s just paying for an organization to come up with rules and apply them to the people. When a dollar circulates through the economy without adding value, it does nothing to stimulate that economy. Also, when that dollar is diminished in value because the hands it passes through all tear off a piece, it depresses the economy.
So what would happen if we shut down the EPA? Well, there would be an immediate 17,000 additional unemployed. The $10 billion saved would reduce the deficit, which would increase both consumer and world confidence in our economy. When confidence increases, people spend more and businesses expand and hire more, which in turn puts those 17,000 back to work.
Amazing, isn’t it? The free-market economy is a beautiful thing when government gets out of the way and let’s it work like it is supposed to.