Congress passes a handful of laws each year. But government agencies pass several thousands of regulations each year, which have the force of law. Democracies elect their lawmakers and law enforcers, but no one elects the bureaucrats, who are now increasingly performing the functions of government and are running the country.
This is a global phenomenon and is one of the major reasons Great Britain voted to exit the all-bureaucratic European Union.
A practical problem of this arrangement is that agencies are issuing so many dictates that the public doesn’t even know what they are–until they suddenly find themselves in legal trouble for breaking them.
In fact, no one even knows how many federal agencies there are! A congressional hearing disclosed that one official tally lists 60 and another lists 115, noting that there “is no authoritative list of government agencies.” [Read more…]