NCPA Expert Testifies "Shut Down Department of Labor"

Washington, D.C. - Dr. Morgan Reynolds, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, advised a House Appropriations subcommittee today to close down the Labor Department, therefore saving its $34 billion a year budget.

"For the most part, the Labor Department's training programs have proved to be abject failures," Reynolds testified. "Even the President's own Council of Economic Advisers endorses 'consolidating many of the separate education and training programs administered by the Department of Labor and Education and reforming the overall system.' "

Reynolds testified the day of big government, paternal business and paternal unions is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Instead, he said, Congress must focus on "policies that allow the greatest opportunity for individuals and families to pay their own way rather than rely on the government for help."

Medical Savings Accounts, privatized Social Security and broader 401(k)s are a few of Reynolds' suggestions for empowering people. "These types of reforms would nurture a strong environment for downsizing federal labor agencies and deregulating labor markets," he said.

"With those reforms in place, it would be very easy to eliminate special interest departments like Commerce and Labor," Reynolds said. Other suggestions offered by Reynolds for downsizing federal labor bureaus and agencies included:

  • Eliminating federal training programs and the federal role in unemployment insurance
  • Repealing federal regulations governing hours and wages
  • Repealing the National Labor Relations Act Eliminating federal oversight of the workplace, relying instead on a combination of tort law, workers' compensation programs and market wage differentials to promote an efficient amount of safety
  • Merging statistical operations of the Department of Labor with the Census Bureau