The Way Things Work in an Administrative State

In many ways, the United States has morphed into an “administrative state.”    I remember learning about this “4th branch of government” – i.e. the bureaucracy – when I was a college student at Daemen in Amherst, NY.  I was young and liberal and quite unconcerned about this thing called “bureaucracy.”    But this thing has become quite a beast, one that impacts our day-to-day life and has changed our relationship to the government.   We now approach government to ask permission (usually after we pay a fee or two).  Let’s consider a few characteristics of bureaucracies….
A BUREAUCRACY – once birthed – continues to grow.  And grow.  
Here is an example of the ever-growing unelected bureaucracy.   With a nod of approval from the United States Congress, the White House has created a new bureaucratic office:  “The Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy.”   This office was born in the legislative branch as part of the 2023 Omnibus Spending package.  You remember it….it was the $1.7 trillion dollar bill, thousands of pages long, with lots of stuff deep in the weeds, passed in Dec. 2022.   The Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy was hid in those weeds of this huge omnibus bill.  It would not have passed otherwise.  How do I know that it would not have passed otherwise?   I know this because such a bill was proposed by Senator Patty Murray (D-Wa) and Richard Burr (R-NC) earlier in 2022.  The bill was called “The Prevent Pandemics Act” and it received very little legislative support.  It was introduced in the Senate, but never made it through committee or to the floor for a vote.  It was not a popular stand-alone bill.  BUT….hid within thousands of pages of an omnibus bill….it found a way.
Below are links – including source documentation – related to this office as well as a link to the failed stand-alone “Prevent Pandemics Act.”
A BUREAUCRACY metastasizes…pushing into areas that the government of a constitutional republic was never intended to push into.  
Consider the bureaucracy called the “Energy Department.”   Over the past several months, the Energy Department has been publishing new and revised rules related to “energy conservation standards.”  It goes like this…a proposed rule is published in the “Federal Register: The Daily Journal of the United States Government.”  The proposed rule is left open for public comment for 30 – 45 days.  Following the period of public comment, the agency that proposed the rule reviews the comments and then decides whether to adopt the rule or not.  In other words, the bureaucrats who wrote the policy determine whether or not to turn the policy into a rule (with the weight of law, by the way).  They do NOT have to make a decision that aligns with the public comments.  The public comments are not votes.
Let’s look at the appliances that the Energy Department is making rules for (and thus affecting manufacturing of and prices of…)  residential clothes washers, consumer clothes dryers, ceiling fans, electric motors, dishwashers, air cleaners, battery chargers, refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, freezers, microwave ovens, misc. refrigeration products, room air conditioners, computer air conditioners….The links below are primary sources/evidence that the Energy Department is seeking to insert its standards into the manufacture of products you and I use every day.  Because some of the proposed standards are unattainable, it ends up acting like a product ban.  Here is a video that explains:  Biden Banning ALL Your Home Appliances – YouTube

Federal Register :: Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers, and Freezers

Federal Register :: Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Microwave Ovens

Federal Register :: Energy Conservation Program: Consumer Refrigeration and Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products

Federal Register :: Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Room Air Conditioners

Federal Register :: Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Computer Room Air Conditioners


Here is a screen shot from the Federal Register.  This screenshot shows that the Energy Department, over the years, has submitted 3,771 documents, including 1,973 notices and 1,073 proposed rules and 549 adopted rules.  The large number of proposed rules to adopted rules demonstrates that there has been an acceleration of rule proposals.  

In the past year, the Energy Department published 201 documents to the Federal Register (some would be notices, some proposed rules, and some that have since become adopted rules).  This seems very complicated….but the point is this:  Bureaucracies bury us with too much stuff to keep up with….how in the world are we to stay on top of all of this?  We can’t.  So we throw our hands up and give up even trying to keep up.  And then….it just piles on and on….This is the nature and tendency of a bureaucracy.  It is self-perpetuating….and it smothers. 

Written by Brenda Hanson, We the People – Cattaraugus County

Share with your friends and family


Sign up
for updates