Friday, October 11, 2013

What Are Essential Government Services?

Free Beacon reports that while many "non-essential" government services are shut down because of the budget problems, there are some "essential" government services still moving forward -- like family planning -- in Pakistan:
Though the government shutdown has reached its tenth day, the federal government has deemed the collection of grant proposals for the improvement of reproductive health of women in Pakistan “essential.”

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) created a grant on Thursday seeking applicants to administer “family planning” in the south Asian country through its Maternal and Child Health (MCH) program.

“The MCH Program’s overall goal is to dramatically and sustainably improve health outcomes of women and children in target areas, and the MCH Program comprises five components: 1) Family Planning/Reproductive Health; 2) Maternal, Newborn and Child Health; 3) Health Communication; 4) Health Commodities; and 5) Health Systems Strengthening,” the grant said.

The funding will provide “health communication” targeted at married women of reproductive age. The USAID is accepting applications through November and the project will ultimately cost $24.5 million.
 The grant itself can be seen here, and it is dated October 10, 2013.  Whatever the merits of such a program (especially if the goal is to discourage production of more little al-Qaeda terrorists), it is hard to see it as essential -- or even as important to Americans as national parks.


  1. We've shut down the NIH, and keep funding health programs for USAID in Pakistan? Our people in Washington DC are insane.

  2. Essential government services?

    National defense, maintaining a post office system and roads, adjudicating arguments between the several states, and.....

  3. I don't particularly care about Pakistan's opinion (or the U.N.'s) of what constitutes essential government services.
    Here in the 'Republic', I would think
    providing for the common defense, promoting (not enforcing) the general welfare, postal services and the like would qualify.
    That whole pesky Constitution thing.


  4. We should, as a matter of course, know who our governments are. We do not because nobody keeps an authoritative list and the Federal census does not agree with state lists. We should also know what they do, and again we do not.

    It is not as if we are incapable of describing government and what it does at all levels. We just never bothered. And for a country that is supposed to have a vibrant segment of the population that is in favor of small government and another in favor of better government, the inability to list the basics is just bizarre for me. To do either one (shrink government responsibly or run it competently) you have to have these lists as a prerequisite.