Agency Overload: Meet the Federal Bureaucracy One-Page Word Cloud

There exist various counts of agencies in the federal bureaucracy, but no particular tally is regarded authoritative.

The “Agency List” page maintained at probably owns the biggest claim to inclusiveness. Its count? A big 438 federal agencies as of now.  

This is interesting for many reasons, one of which is that the tally of rules and regulations in the pipeline that I like to use each year in Ten Thousand Commandments in my survey of the Unified Agenda of regulations tops out at around 60.

One of the things coming into more focus in recent months and years, as the current presidential administration’s “pen and phone” rose into prominence, is that there is more to agency and executive branch actions than just the standard “rule.”

For instance, a September Senate hearing spent much time on “guidance documents” that supplement or stand in for normal rulemaking procedures.

They are controversial enough, yet there is even more unsupervised agency activity underway than reflected in semi-formal guidance. We’ll continue exploring such “regulatory dark matter” further over the coming weeks.

In the meantime, I thought the list of federal bureaucracies would look interesting as a one-page word cloud. Turns out it doesn’t. Word clouds are supposed to help us make sense of things.

Not in this case, however. Check it out below or at this link. Have your reading glasses or a magnifier handy!