Can Freedom Survive in the Era of the Administrative State?

Washington Examiner covers the administrative state and cite’s CEI’s estimate of the cost of federal regulations.

In The Administrative State, Dwight Waldo’s study of the bureaucratic form, Waldo observes during the Progressive Era, “The traditional separation of powers became the bete noir of American political science,” increasingly set aside in favor of “exaltation of the powers of the executive branch.”

The three-part mechanism contemplated by the Constitution was an old-fashioned impediment to scientific government, to be helmed by experts who know better than the squabbling rubes in Congress. Undergirded by faith in scientific progress, the idea was that government, the economy, and society itself could be managed more effectively by experts.

The administrative state of these Progressive Era dreams has largely been brought to fruition and now is enormous in size, impacting almost every area of life and employing an army of bureaucrats. Through his executive orders, President Trump has signaled a willingness to reconsider the role of the federal regulatory state and its mountains of administrative rules.

Cast in broad and general terms, acts of Congress leave plenty of room for administrative discretion, expressed in the tens of thousands of regulations that spill forth from federal agencies every year. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s conservative estimate of the yearly cost of federal regulations alone (i.e., not accounting for state-level regulations) puts the number at more than $1.9 trillion, which is roughly one-tenth of the country’s gross domestic product.

Read the full article at Washington Examiner.