If only we had a do-nothing bureaucracy
For all of the talk of a “do nothing” Congress in 2013, the federal bureaucracy has certainly been busy. Senator Mike Lee illustrated how government continues to grow in power and influence with one compelling photograph on his Facebook page.
The caption is as follows:
Behold my display of the 2013 Federal Register. It contains over 80,000 pages of new rules, regulations, and notices all written and passed by unelected bureaucrats. The small stack of papers on top of the display are the laws passed by elected members of Congress and signed into law by the president.
To be fair, it is possible that all three stacks of paper were not brand-new regulations. Some may have been clarifications of older regulations, and some of them may have even loosened rules.
But the fact that the federal government is enacting this many regulations in one single year that have the force of law should be a concern to those of us who value individual liberty and limited government. Did we really need the federal government to pass so many regulations in 2013? What pressing problems were solved by these new regulations? Could we have gotten along without some of them?
Even the number of actual laws passed by the “historically unproductive” Congress should give us pause. Did Congress really need to find several dozen new ways to regulate our lives and businesses in only one year?
The problem with having a full time legislature, whether it be at the federal level or at the state level, is that legislatures spend so much time at their jobs that they feel they need to “do something” about every problem – even if it means making something illegal despite the fact that it is already illegal.
Here is the now-famous picture. Look carefully and think about how many ways the federal government restricted our liberty in those tens of thousands of pages.
This post was tagged under: National Politics