The Hollowing-Out of Government

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This video was originally posted on Town Square.

The deadly explosion at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant was absolutely preventable. The plant was had not been inspected since 1985, and heavily violated safety standards. Why did this happen? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the government agency set to ensure workplace safety, but it’s been steadily hollowed out by Republicans, it’s been denied funds, and its enforcement has been severely shaved down.

This problem isn’t just for OSHA though — it’s all kinds of government agencies, including the IRS. Reducing IRS enforcement is extremely counterproductive to our budget, but is that what Republicans are truly looking out for?

What about taxes on corporations? Big banks? Must essential programs be hollowed out and dismantled in favor of greed?

Robert Reich (professor of public policy at UC-Berkeley, and former labor secretary) explains why reducing, de-funding, and disabling government agencies and programs hurts the American people in the long run (and why Republicans won’t stop doing it).


© 2013 Town Square

Robert B. Reich is the chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley and former secretary of labor under the Clinton administration. TIME magazine named him one of the 10 most effective Cabinet secretaries of the 20th century. He is also a founding editor of The American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause. His film, Inequality for All, was released in 2013. Follow him on Twitter: @RBReich.
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