Introduction to Federal Bureaucracy
The federal bureaucracy regulates all American individuals so frequently day to day, it often becomes second nature that individuals do not even realize when they are being regulated. In the past year, the federal bureaucracy has been even more involved in every American's life. When I completed the previous journal entry assignment it was surprising to see how federal bureaucracy effects and influences my life.
The first way that the federal bureaucracy influences my every day life is part-time job income. I just recently completed my taxes for the 2009, and for my federal with holdings I was taxed $1,037. For this research paper, I investigated exactly where my $1,237 went. I concluded that $317 went for human resources, $145 went for past military expenses, $111 went towards general government expenses, $75 went to physical resources, and $389 went towards the currently military (IRS, 2009). The current military spending includes the 200 billion dollars going towards the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars.
Next, federal bureaucracy affects my children's elementary school. Two of my three children go to public school, with the youngest going to public school in a few years, which is paid by state and federal taxes. By the federal government paying for their school, the government regulates the schools curriculum, and their teachers. Additionally, the federal government demands that my children have a decent attendance and that the teachers are certified. Also, their school requires that the school give the students standardized tests (which is actually managed by the state).
Interestingly, the federal bureaucracy affects my television programs. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) requires that television stations play at least three hours of educational programs for children (FCC, 2009). The FCC regulates both television and radio broadcastings.This federal regulation requires that they play this three hours of education programming during 7 a.m. through 10 p.m (FCC, 2009).
Funnily, television stations claimed that this new regulation was unconstitutional because it infringed on their First Amendment rights, of the freedom of the press.
Third, the federal bureaucracy affects my life by regulating (or rather not) my speech. Today, when I was asked about what I thought of my local elected official, I was able to tell her what I thought without fear of being jailed or persecuted (Cornell University, 2009). By having this first amendment right under the United States Constitution, I am able to read the news paper I like, in addition to news programming. While this first amendment right is liberating, I am not legally able to say anything I want; for example, I can not scream “fire!” in a crowded movie theater, or scream “bomb!” on a plane (Cornell University, 2009).
Fourth, the federal bureaucracy influences my life the road as I drive every day. From getting to and from work every day, I drive on highways which are currently under construction. Everyday I pass a large sign with the name of the construction company and how much the construction will cost, $1,250,000. While passing this sign today, I thought where exactly does this money come from, the simple answer would be me and you. Part of this road construction is paid by property taxes, and some is even paid by the high gasoline taxes (IRS, 2009).
Fifth, federal bureaucracy is involved in my life by the civil liberties that I am entitled to because I am a United States citizen. Some of my civil liberties are that I can practice my religion in the way that I please, I have the right to due process and a fair trial, and I have the right to own property and the right to privacy. My civil liberties have been described on a piece of paper called the Bill of Rights, which are the first ten amendments of the constitution, with the eight describing my personal freedoms (Cornell University, 2009).
What surprise me the most how the federal bureaucracy influences my television programs. I have three children, and another one on the way, and I am pleased that the government is involved in what my children watch, to make sure that there are programs readily available that are educational. What surprised me the least was my civil liberties. As every American, sometimes I take my personal freedoms for granted. However, there are many countries that individuals are not guaranteed the right to practice their religion in the way that they choose, women are not allowed to vote or own property, and there is no free speech.
The FCC is an independent United States government agency that was formed after the Commissions Act of 1934 (FCC, 2009). This act gave the FCC the power to regulate cable, radio, television, wire, and satellite in all 50 states in addition to District of Columbia. The FCC is ran by five commissioners which are appointed by the President of the United States and who are confirmed by the Senate for a five year term. So far, the President has appointed two new individuals for this board of commissioners, Susan Crawford (FCC, 2009). Recently, new legislation has been passed by the United States House of Representatives that have authorized the FCC to penalize fines up to $325,000 for each violation that violates decency standards. Previously, the fine was only $32,500 (FCC, 2009).
Recently, the FCC has been scrutinized over AT&T, Verizon, and Bell South for participating in the National Security Agency (NSA) wiretapping. The FCC stated that it could not investigate whether there was illegal wiretapping due to the classified nature of the NSA.
However, many representatives claimed that the FCC was irresponsible in their decision since one of their main goals is to protect customers from a violation of privacy.
To conclude, there is little debate that the federal government is involved in our everyday life. While there has been a growing debate over how much the federal government should be involved in our affairs, federal bureaucracy is involved with our mail, television programs, roads, and especially our taxes.