The administrative state is one of the biggest threats to our liberty and it is operating without consent of the people and under the radar of most people. This is a huge cause for concern and it is something that should be brought out into the open. The administrative state acts without consent of the governed and has little public accountability giving them power to interpret and enforce laws however it sees fit. This is causing a decline in our constitutional government.
The administrative state are government bureaucracies that create “rules” that have the power of law, but were not voted on by Congress, or signed by the president. This gives them unregulated power to regulate our lives in ways that were never intended by the Founders. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson cited the administrative state as one of the reasons they were declaring their independence from Britain:
He [King George III] has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
Americans have always hated the administrative state and we continue to hate it. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 75% of Americans are angry with the current policies of the federal government. That is an astronomical number that could go higher.
Perhaps the most notable bureaucracy is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It seeks to create rules based on the Clean Air Act that would greatly impact our ability to do simple things like drive cars. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to create rules to “gradually decrease” the amount of salt that is allowed in certain foods. This is the definition of a “nanny state” and goes directly against the Constitution. Article I gives ALL legislative power to Congress. It is an absolute statement with no room for interpretation. This ultimately was supposed to put the power of law-making in the hands of the people because, after all, the people elect people to represent their will in Congress. However, with the rise of the administrative state it is becoming less and less like a representative government and more of a despotic government.
The Administrative is set to become even more powerful because of the passage of Obamacare. Now, the power over one-sixth of the economy will be transferred to over 100 federal agencies all reporting to the Department of Health and Human Services, who’s head is also not subject to congressional authority as a member of the President’s Cabinet. Heritage’s Dr. Matt Spalding notes that:
If Obamacare becomes settled law, and its programs are fixed in place, it will go far in cementing the United States as a post-constitutional administrative state.
The major problem is that the overwhelming majority of laws in this country are not made by congress, but rather, the administrative state. This spells disaster for the American people and the American form of government. Instead of being subjects to the crown, we are subjects to the federal bureaucracies that we have no control over. Heritage’s Dr. Joe Postell states that we must devise a strategy to bar Congress from delegating legislative power to agencies, eliminate the consolidation of all three powers in these agencies and make these agencies accountable to the people. If nothing happens, the great American experiment could end.