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Natalie Parker
Participant

In recent years, the power of the President has strengthened, with responsibilities that were formerly held with local and state governments and the Legislative Branch being subsumed by the Executive Branch.

One example of such is President Trump鈥檚 recent use of the Executive Order to appropriate federal funds to build a border barrier along the Southern border of the U.S.

To examine whether the Executive Branch overall is too large, I think we should look to see whether it鈥檚 size has grown relative to the other branches of government and then whether state and local governments have also grown relative to the populations that they govern. Ken is correct that the population of the U.S. has grown significantly since the founding of our nation, and so obviously have the number of government administrators. The excerpt below is from the 2012 Census of Governments released by the US Census Bureau. As a note, the next survey will be released later in 2019, according to the Census Bureau.

鈥淚n March 2012, federal, state, and local governments employed 22.0 million people. This is a decrease of 75,913 employees from the last Census of Governments conducted in 2007. The number of state government employees increased by 85,755, or 1.6 percent. Local governments employed 224,354 fewer people, or 1.6 percent, while federal employment increased by 62,686 employees, or 2.3 percent.鈥

The federal government has indeed expanded the services it offers, but arguments continue about privatization and what government services could possibly be delivered more efficiently via the private sector. Ultimately, I believe many powers of the Executive Branch should be shifted back to state and local governments with the Legislative Branch taking a stronger role in execution.


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