Last month I saved an article by George Will in the Washington Post. In his article, he makes reference to and quotes from a presentation by Christopher DeMuth (a Fellow of the Hudson Institute) at George Mason University. DeMuth was explaining the perverse effects of progressivism. Paraphrasing DeMuth, Will wrote:
Government power is increasingly concentrated in Washington, Washington power is increasingly concentrated in the executive branch, and executive-branch power is increasingly concentrated in agencies that are unconstrained by legislative control. Debt and regulation are, DeMuth discerns, “political kin”: Both are legitimate government functions, but both are now perverted to evade democratic accountability, which is a nuisance, and transparent taxation, which is politically dangerous.
It’s true, isn’t it? The bureaucrats run this country more than the politicians do. This post is about the federal government; but the same could be said for state and local governments, couldn’t it?
Sure, Congress will have their staffs produce 2000 page new laws with the help of lobbyist, but the bureaucrats take those laws and write tens of thousands of new regulations (laws) that require no Congressional approval. The bureaucrats can write regulations (laws) that Congress can’t get passed; e.g., a carbon tax.
Later Mr. Will writes:
Legislative leaders — particularly, committee chairs — have lost power as Congress has become more porous and responsive to importuning factions using new media. Congress, responding to the increased difficulty of legislating, has delegated much lawmaking to specialized agencies that have fewer internal conflicts. Congress’s role has waned as that of autonomous executive agencies has waxed. The executive has driven the expansion of the consumption of benefits that are paid for by automatic entitlement transfer payments, by government-mandated private expenditures and by off-budget and non-transparent taxation imposed by executive agencies.
Think about it. Our current sorry excuse for a President has claimed he didn’t know about guns being walked into Mexico and he didn’t know that he embassy in Libya had made request for more security and he didn’t know that the IRS was harassing conservative groups and he didn’t know his Attorney General was eavesdropping on the Associated Press. He claims he learned about these things from watching the news on TV . We, of course don’t know how much of what he says is a lie, how much is due his inner circle filtering what he is told, and how much of it is because the bureaucracy is so big that it is impossible to be aware of all that is going on inside the government swamp.
It makes one wonder why we even bother going through the charade of elections anymore? The bureaucrats are the ones who run this country these days. Every government agency is in the hands of bureaucratic zealots with an agenda. They don’t care much if the person in the White House has a “D” or an “R” after their name. They will pretty much do things their way no matter who claims to be in charge of the Executive Branch. And, Congress? It is less and less relevant as each year goes by.
George Will ended his article as follows:
Government used to spend primarily on the production of things — roads, dams, bridges, military forces. There can be only so many of such goods. Now, DeMuth says, government spends primarily for consumption:
“The possibilities for increasing the kind, level, quality and availability of benefits are practically unlimited. This is the ultimate source of today’s debt predicament. More borrowing for more consumption has no natural stopping point short of imploding on itself.”
Funding the welfare state by vast borrowing and regulatory taxation hides the costs from the public. Hence its political potency. Until the implosion. (Emphasis added)
Your humble observer at Asylum Watch use to believe that an implosion was inevitable. I am no longer sure that is the case or, if an implosion does come, it will be many years down the road. In the mean time, it appears to me that the private sector middle-class will see its standard of living continually declining, while the government sector middle-class will see their standard of living improving. Unless we can find enough politicians willing to go to the District of Corruption with the sole purpose of draining the swamp, nothing is going to change. What’s the chance of that happening? Slim and none I would say.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?