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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Government We Didn't Elect

I am a geek. If you have read the blog’s bio you know I am pretty up front about this.   Some of my favorite books are the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.  One of the main characters is named Zaphod, he’s recently been elected as President of the Galaxy.  As an impulse driven narcissist, he would seem poorly suited for this role. But then it is revealed that the whole purpose of a Galactic President is to distract the populace from its true rulers.  Zaphod has the whole distracting thing down cold.  Of course this raises an interesting question, who is really running the Galaxy?

So who’s really running your government?  There are 435 members of the House of Representatives, 100 Senators and one President and his Vice.  This gives us a total of 537 elected Federal officers.  We chose them, they are our fault.

In 1940 there were 700,000 Federal employees.  Seventy years later there are 2.7 million Federal employees, almost four times as many.  This is civilian employees, not military. If we subtract the Post Office and the Department of Defense civilians we are left with 1.26 million regulatory bureaucrats.  That’s 2,300 non-elected people for every elected official.

We didn’t get to choose these people, we don’t know what their political beliefs or their agendas are.  We don’t get send them home after 4 years when they act against our interests. They don’t pass laws by voting on them, they issue regulations, with little to no oversight and we have no choice but to comply.

Then there are the Czars, officials of enormous power with no oversight, no Congressional appointment and nearly as infallible as the Pope and as absolute as any monarch. Obama has doubled the number of Czars in less than two years.  These unelected and untouchable officials work in almost complete secrecy.  Be honest, with nearly 40 Czars in the administration, each overseeing earthshakingly important aspects of American life, when was the last time you actually heard what any of them were up to?

To be fair, you’ve been pretty distracted with elected shenanigans.

So we’ve elected a statistically negligible portion of our government, but they’re in charge right? When Cap and Trade died in Legislature the EPA stepped in and began to implement it anyway through fiat and regulation.  Czars confiscated massive private industries and looted them for Union bosses without congressional input.  It was if the people we elected weren’t even really necessary.

Feeling helpless?  Are you starting to wonder if the elections even mattered? Fortunately they can. Our legislature can start by eliminating some of the competition.  Legislation outlawing high powered officials with no congressional blessing would eliminate the czars. The House can threaten to defund the EPA if they continue to enforce Cap and Trade by fiat.

Then the Congress needs to start shutting down Federal agencies and moving those responsibilities back to the States. At the State level the bureaucracies will be much more controllable. When the Federal government is back to 1940 levels or less, then we can feel like the people we elected are the people in charge.


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