The real answer to the democracy-killing ‘administrative state’

Most Americans have no real idea of the massive power vested (taken?) in the federal bureaucracy. Sure most people get that agencies enforce laws. But most don’t know that agencies do much more than that, and often create what amounts to law out of thin air via “rules” and “guidance.” Woe to to the business caught up in the bureaucratic net.

This is the “administrative state.” Part of the “deep state.” And it is eroding this country’s vitality and undermining in many respects our republic.

(From The New York Post)

From different directions, conservatives have begun to aim their guns at our “administrative state.” Most of the rules we live by aren’t laws passed by Congress or court decisions. Instead, they’re to be found in the thousands of pages in the Code of Federal Regulations or in the interpretative advice found in agency opinion letters and policy statements. The agencies generally exercise their power in secret, and they’re barely accountable to anyone.

With formal regulations there’s at least a requirement that public notice be given and comments welcomed before new rules are promulgated. But agencies often provide far more detailed handbooks or interpretations of the regulations, not to mention the advice they might give over the phone or in letters to affected parties, and none of this goes through an administrative review process.

To give but one example, the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans granted 5 million illegal immigrants immunity from deportation and gave them work permits. It reads like a statute, but it wasn’t one, and it wasn’t even a regulation or executive order.

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