Niagara Gazette

Bob Confer

October 7, 2013

CONFER: Three federal government entities that could be shut down

Niagara Gazette — In the weeks leading up to the so-called government shutdown we were led to believe that the apocalypse was upon us. Not surprisingly, when it did hit, the Niagara River kept flowing, the winds didn’t stop, and, magically, the Earth kept spinning. As a matter of fact, a great majority of Americans have been mostly unaffected by the shutdown. It shows that a smaller federal government is all right.

So, what exactly would constitute a good “smaller government”? Congress doesn’t seem to know. Neither does the Obama administration. From the start of the shutdown, the powers-that-be seemed to indiscriminately determine who was essential and who wasn’t because folks whose services were truly needed (and whose duties have constitutional basis) were cast aside, while those who are deadweight (and sport unconstitutional roles) were kept.

To make a smarter, cheaper and more constitutional federal government, one could start by permanently shutting down the following entities:

Department of Education: If you are a fan of the DOE you either work for it or have no understanding of how education works. Education works best at the local level, in a shared effort of caring and competent parents, district administrators, and teachers independent of some far-away bureaucracy. Passionate and effective education can only be accomplished by allowing local districts to teach as they want, what they want and how they want; after all, who knows kids better than their parents and teachers? They will never create good students by being forced to teach to standards, be those standards some hare-brained expectation of what kids should know or ideals on how teachers should perform developed by someone totally removed from the art. There’s a reason why since the DOE was instituted in 1979, that America went from producing the brightest students in the world to some of the most dimwitted. The annual cost: $81.6 billion.

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Bob Confer
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  • NIA Confer Mug CONFER: New York state could soon tax the scouts These are interesting times in New York, as we have a governor and a state legislature touting various reform packages that are expected to drop some tax rates after years of steady tax growth. It comes at a time when those same parties are testing the waters for even more public services such as universal pre-kindergarten.

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  • NIA Confer Mug CONFER: State bill would mandate parenting classes S142-2013, under review by the state Senate education committee now, would require parents of elementary school age children to attend parent support programs and workshops, including one concerning abuse in its various forms. If they didn't, their kids wouldn't be allowed to enter seventh grade.

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  • NIA Confer Mug CONFER: Opening the gates to Common Core For many, Bill Gates â€" he of the $67 billion net worth â€" is looked at as a hero for American education. Through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he has invested millions in the development and introduction of the Common Core standards, the latest and allegedly greatest remodeling of teaching as we knew it.

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