479 is the number of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies. That does not include the state and local government departments and agencies. At first I pause and reflect on the length of the U.S. Constitution and wonder if there are more words in the names of our current Federal agencies and departments than there are in the very document that supposedly authorizes their existence. Let’s say that, on average, there are five words in a government agency name. That gives us a total of 2395 words. There are 4543 words in the original, unamended Constitution. So almost half. But I digress.
So what could 479 agencies and departments be called and what could they all be doing? It must be important – they are government agencies after all. Let us start with the 35 agencies that start with the letter “A”. One that sticks out is the Administration on Aging (AoA). This cozy little group advocates for older persons and their concerns. They work to heighten awareness among other Federal agencies and the public about how valuable older people are and the contributions they can make. How nice. Could anyone be against this? I should think not.
Another one that sticks out is the African Development Foundation. So what does this group do? They provide grants to community groups and small enterprises that benefit under-served and marginalized groups in Africa. So they take money from the tax revenue and give it away to help the poor in another country. Who could be against this? Read the rest of this entry »