Threats to Democracy Posed by an Unleashed Administrative State

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President Joe Biden’s much-covered Independence Hall remarks last week have drawn their share of praise, condemnation, and memes. Prominent was Biden’s easy deployment of the word “threat.” He used the word “threat” nine times, invoking “extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic” and the “power we have” to meet those challenges. But he never once looked in the progressive mirror. Over at Forbes I penned a response for a bit of counterbalance. Below I list five ways Biden’s policies are highly problematic and non-democratic.

  1. There has been a repudiation by Biden of the Trump (limited) regulatory streamlining agenda so thorough that it has undermined even preexisting regulatory oversight norms like basic cost-benefit analysis.
  • There has been an unleashing of federal agency sub-regulatory “guidance documents” (which omit even the public notice and comment that ordinary rules get) and a degradation of public disclosures of said regulation and guidance.
  • The list of Biden’s whole-of-government campaigns has revealed itself to be open-ended. The administration is leveraging the awesome power the federal government wields in employment, procurement, and contracting. The leading edge is the “Equity” pursuit characterized by differential treatment under law based on identity, followed by environmental alarmism, and “competition policy.”
  • “Competition policy” threatens free enterprise, from agriculture to outer space. “Build back better,” with the participation of Republicans in the “infrastructure” and “innovation” bills of the past year, systematically shrink the scope of private competitive enterprise in favor of expanding  federal oversight. Nearly all large-scale endeavors of the future will be “partnerships” with government if policy makers don’t wake up fast.

Every single item in the above threaten democracy, freedom, and the right to live free of federal intervention. These all require urgent congressional scrutiny and action.