On Safety

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Putting the DOL budget in perspective

April 1, 2014

Just how much money is the Department of Labor requesting for fiscal year 2015? Enough to make a pharaoh or two happy.

During a March 26 House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing, Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) briefly put DOL’s budget into historical perspective for Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez.

“I could build the pyramids with your budget,” Rokita said as an aside.

It’s a snarky comment, one I interpret as attempting to negatively convey just how much money the Department of Labor is requesting.

But Rokita’s right – DOL’s budget request of $12 billion is enough money to build the Great Pyramid of Giza. Two of them, in fact.

Let’s be blunt – $12 billion is a lot of money. But in the grand scheme of things, DOL’s budget request is 0.3 percent of the total U.S. budget.

For less than half a penny on the dollar, DOL works to ensure workers have a safe environment in which to earn a living, ensure those wages are fair, and much, much more.

Workers who constructed the Great Pyramid of Giza could have probably only hoped for such bang for the pharaoh’s buck.

The opinions expressed in "On Safety" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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