I’ll bet most of you thought Congress wrote the laws of the land. You’re wrong. The laws of this country are not written by Congress or the President either. Our laws are written by people whose names you never heard of or faces you never see. These people never face the voters, never have to be confirmed by Congress. They are hired to work in the many alphabet agencies located in Washington.
Let’s take a look at the infamous Affordable Care Act. This piece of legislation passed by Congress was 2,000 pages long (that’s pages, not words). Congress just sets the broad guidelines. All the specifics are written by HHS. The initial round of regulations covering the act are 20,000 pages and counting. Each time a new regulation is written, there are requirements Americans must comply with. How does the government know the regulations is being complied? By requiring forms be filed proving compliance. And each time new forms are created, the agency needs people to read, categorize and file the forms. So new people are needed each time a reg is issued. Now multiply that by all the agencies in Washington.
Congress has gotten very lazy over the years. They have given the agencies the ability to write the laws through regulation. Very rarely does Congress ever override a regulation the agencies have devised. And agencies never seem to abolish outdated regs. They just add new ones. And each time new regs are released, the agency increases their staff to enforce it. The agencies just get bigger and bigger.
Here’s how it works. The agency writes new regs. There are compliance forms that the regulated must fill out and return. The agency hires new people to read, interpret, and handle the forms. supervisors who are a level above the new hires have more people under them so they move up in pay grade. Possibly new supervisors are needed so some employees get moved up to the new classification and get pay raises. The management level above the supervisors have more people under them than before, so they move up in pay grade. The compliance section of the agency goes through the same type of employment growth. Then tomorrow, new regs covering something else come out and the process continues. Sometimes regs are added without any new legislation being passed. Agencies have issued new regs when they believe something needs updated. They use the president of some past legislation to justify the new changes. Now multiply that by the number of all the alphabet agencies in the Federal Government.
The Federal Register, which contains all the new regs averages 71,470 pages a year, and growing. That’s a lot of regulatory damage the agencies are doing each year. And each year the budget for all the agencies gets bigger, as does the number of employees in those agencies. And each new regulation makes it harder and more expensive for the regulated to comply.
All of the agency personnel vote for the politicians who will support the expansion of regulations in their agency. No wonder Washington D.C. never has a recession.