The Bureaucracy in the United States

Some examples of bureaucracy in the United States are: the International Revenue Service, which collects taxes from citizens. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which looks into crimes for American citizens. The Postal Service, which delivers mail to citizens and the Health Care Financing Administration, which reimburses states fro money, spent on health care for the poor.

An Iron Triangle is the relationship among an agency, a committee and an interest group. For example the Department of Veterans Affairs is a triangle made up of the house and Senate committees on Veteran Affairs and Veteran’s organizations. These three would make up a strong alliance with each other. The department would do what the committee wanted them to do and in return get political support and budget appropriations and the committee would do what the department wanted and in return get votes and campaign contributions.

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The Department of Housing and Urban Developing is also and Iron Triangle because it works closely with mayors and real-estate agents. Another example of this is the Department of Agriculture, which works closely with form agencies. The Small Business Administration works closely with congress and loan programs that make it so strong that even the most popular President cannot beat them. The Federal Communications Commission works with broadcasters and heads of cable-television companies. They however are feeling the pressure of separate demands coming from both the television guys as well as the broadcasters.

The common government agency today is not an iron triangle but an issue network. An issue network consists of people in Washington based interest groups, on congressional staffs, in universities and think tanks, and in the mass media who regularly debate government policy on a certain subject. The networks are split along political, ideological, and economic lines.

When Reagan became president he filled these jobs with people who were from that part of the issue network holding free-market or anti-regulation views. When Bush became president he filled them with more centrists member of the issue network. Clinton then brought back the consumer activist and Bush Jr. will probably follow in his father’s footsteps and fill these positions again with centrist members.