It's called "pandering to the base", Push..and every politician does it.
IF politicians were seriously attempting to get a handle on entitlements while they were giving grandiose speeches about "Look at me! I'm cutting the waste!"...I would have no problem cutting these departments. (Nobody has ever given me a solid answer as to what exactly the "Department of Education" does...ummmm).
But they don't. It's simply easier to pander and do absolutely nothing.
So in answer to your question, I actually wish they weren't there. NOT because they are the root cause of our deficit problems; but because I'm tired of them being used as fodder and Political "cover" for Politicians who don't want to make the tough choices.