A "do everything" bureaucracy

  • 7 January 2015
  • NormanL
bureaucracy US Capitol

It's popular in leftist circles to call congress">Congress a "do nothing" institution that is utterly broken and needs fixing (preferrably, by electing more progressives).

This argument has always struck us as both wrong and dangerous. And thanks to the Competitive Enterprise Institute's "Unconstitutionality Index," we also know it's completely false:

Congress passed and the president signed into law 129 Public Laws in 2014">2014, as I’ve derived from the Government Publishing Office’s archive of Public Laws. There had been 72 laws in 2013. So 201 is the total for the 113th Congress.

We know the LA Times, Rolling Stone, New York Times and Washington Post, all wish there were more laws.

Wish granted.   

Congress may have passed "only" 129 Public Laws this year before Obama’s Hawaii trip, but federal agencies are always there to take up slack.

And they did; agencies issued 3,541 rules and regulations in 2014, by my preliminary count.

That's 27 rules and regulations for every law.

That’s not even counting the pen and phone and other regulatory dark matter that are rising in prominence like bulletins, guidance documents, blog posts and press conferences that amount to “law” in their own right.

The federal government has been very, very busy making laws, passing rules and adding regulations. The problem is that Congress has abandoned its constitutional responsibility for doing any of it and instead left lawmaking to the executive branch.

So much for checks and balances.