A Recipe for Regulation

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about government regulations in general. Jim Parks’s article a week ago was the latest to prod me on the topic, but I had already been mulling over the topic since I read an interesting take on industrial safety in Slate.

Most recently I was struck by the way that discussions about regulations often follow this predictable formula: Liberal says “We need more regulations.” Conservative says “We need fewer regulations.”

And yet, what struck me most about this form of argument is that, to a large degree, they seem to both be wrong. Or at least seem to be missing the point.


Imagine trying to bake some bread, and it’s just not turning out the way you want it to. One person says, “It needs more ingredients.” Another says, “No, it needs fewer ingredients.” How profoundly silly that would seem. What matters is not the quantity of ingredients, but rather the types of ingredients, the amounts of each ingredient, and how they’re applied.

In fact, in any system, whether cooking, engineering, or government, those are the key elements. So we hear conservatives moan about particular regulations that get in the way of something useful, and then use that as the proof that regulations are evil. And we hear liberals moan about how the lack of regulations gets in the way of something useful, and then use that as proof that regulations are good.

In the end, they’re both right about many of the examples, and wrong about the conclusions. Good regulations need to be focused on the ends, not the means.

In open financial transactions, regulations are needed to ensure that information isn’t hidden in an imbalanced way. In commerce, regulations are needed to ensure that the buyer is able to ascertain everything that is relevant to the buyer’s decision, and that the buyer has realistic alternatives to engaging with the seller. In industry, regulations are needed to ensure that external parties aren’t impacted by industrial waste. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

In other words, there are plenty of reasons why regulations are of great value. But, as I said before, good regulations need to be focused on the ends, not the means. If a regulation is too proscriptive, it often leads to unnecessary inefficiencies. Any given regulation is written by a relative few people, and while they’re typically experts in their field, they cannot be expected to anticipate changing conditions, nor can they be expected to know the most ideal solution to a given problem. Worse yet, those who write regulations typically don’t have enough capacity to handle both new ones and maintenance of old ones, to keep them up to date with the latest situational changes.

So if a regulation is too proscriptive, it gets in the way of innovative solutions to difficult problems. Solutions improve most rapidly when natural selection is applied. Look at the success with sulfur reductions in industrial air pollution. Through the use of a cap-and-trade system, not only were sulfur levels reduced by the targeted 40% three years ahead of schedule, but also at a cost of only 25% of the expected levels. History suggests that a more proscriptive model would have produced worse results.

Proscriptive regulations are needed in some areas, particularly in definitions. If you buy something called “olive oil,” you don’t want to find out that what you bought was, in fact, only 5% olive oil and 95% soybean oil. If you buy a car and care about the gas mileage, you want to be confident that the same method of measurement was used for both the Chrysler and the Toyota.

Aside from those areas, regulations should be carefully crafted to avoid being proscriptive. Make the end clear, and leave the means to the market. This was effective in addressing acid rain, and can be similarly effective in many other areas as well.

Of course, whatever regulations we have are meaningless if there’s no enforcement. Lately we have had a rapidly increasing number of food recalls, much of which can be attributed to lack of enforcement of existing food regulations. The lack of enforcement is a direct result of intentional underfunding of the regulatory agencies by Congress. It’s as if we have a recipe that calls for a cup of flour, but nobody bothers to check that we grabbed the correct measuring cup, or that the powder we scooped was flour instead of, say, powdered sugar or scouring powder. The underfunding is a mechanism by which the number of regulations can be effectively reduced. Nonetheless, it’s a useful approach only if one doesn’t care which regulations are reduced. In other words, it speaks to Conservative says: “We need fewer regulations.” It does nothing to address the usefulness of any particular regulation.

And that’s the crux. Nothing about which regulations we need has anything to do with how many regulations we have or should have.

In the end, the recipe for good regulation depends not on quantity. It’s all about the degree, application, and enforcement.


About Michael Weiss

Michael is now located at http://www.logarchism.com, along with Monotreme, filistro, and dcpetterson. Please make note of the new location.
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76 Responses to A Recipe for Regulation

  1. Monotreme says:

    I agree, wholeheartedly.

    Let me give one example, from economics. As I understand Adam Smith’s theories of capitalism, an ideal transaction involves perfect transparency between buyer and seller. That is, in order for capitalism to work, both parties must have access to all the information that is available at the time.

    Yet, many (perhaps most) people forget this when arguing against government regulation. Lack of transparency causes serious inequities.

    Whenever applying an economic model, it’s important to make sure the underlying assumptions are met.

  2. Bart DePalma says:

    The problem with the regulatory state is essentially accountability.

    1) No accountability to the people. Regulators are unelected. Unless they study the Federal Register, the people have no real idea what the regulators are doing. Unless their employer tells them, they have no idea how the regulators are harming their community’s employers.

    2) No accountability to the people’ elected representatives. Perversely, the Constitution’s checks and balances meant to limit the use of government power protect the regulatory state’s nearly unfettered exercise of power. Congress cannot reverse a regulation so long as there are 41 progressives in the Senate or a progressive President with a veto. The courts routinely side with bureaucrats over Presidents in setting regulatory policy. It is extremely difficult to fire a regulator for policy differences.

    3) No real accountability to the citizens the regulators harm. Courts routinely defer to regulator findings and regulations, even if they put entire industries in economic jeopardy based in the sketchiest “science.”

    4) No real cost benefit analysis as an internal check.

    5) Bureaucracies always exceed their original mandate. Congress generally enacts regulatory legislation to address a particular set of problems and the regulators have generally addressed those issues in the first few years. However, the bureaucracy never goes away and keeps enacting more stringent regulations beyond anything envisioned by Congress in order to justify its existence.

    6) No sunsetting. Regulations are the closest thing to immortality there is on Earth. Because there is no effective accountability, bad regulations are rarely removed. They simply pile up over the years. There are now roughly 150,000 fine print pages of regulations piled onto the economy. This is several times longer than Congress’ US Code.

    Things are only getting worse. The Economist reports:

    In his first two years in office the federal government issued 132 “economically significant” rules, according to Susan Dudley of George Washington University. (“Economically significant” means that either the rule’s costs, or its benefits, exceed $100m a year.) That is about 40% more than the annual rate under both George Bush junior and Bill Clinton. Many rules associated with the newly passed health-care and financial-reform laws are still to come.

    Existing rules are also being enforced more keenly. The workplace-safety regulator slapped employers with 167% more violations in Mr Obama’s first year than in Mr Bush’s last, according to OMB Watch, a liberal watchdog. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stepped up scrutiny of drugs that have already been approved for sale. Last year it barred the use of Avastin for breast cancer, not because it was unsafe but because its benefits seemed too uncertain. The regulatory workforce has grown 16% in Mr Obama’s first two years in office, to 276,429, while private employment has fallen.

    After promising to review whether a handful of the roughly 150,000 fine print pages of regulations might be “burdensome,” President Obama warned the Chamber of Commerce today:

    [T]he perils of too much regulation are matched by the dangers of too little. We saw that in the financial crisis, where the absence of sound rules of the road was hardly good for business. That’s why, with the help of Paul Volcker who is here today, we passed a set of commonsense reforms. The same can be said of health insurance reform. We simply could not continue to accept a status quo that’s made our entire economy less competitive, as we’ve paid more per person for health care than any other nation on earth. And we could not accept a broken system where insurance companies could drop people because they got sick, or families went bankrupt because of medical bills.

    Despite some throwaway promises, Barrack Obama appears intent to realize the progressive dream of a “government by experts” who are unaccountable to either the people or their elected representatives.

  3. Bartbuster says:

    1) .. Unless their employer tells them, they have no idea how the regulators are harming their community’s employers.

    Holy crap. Yes, if it wasn’t for the good people who are pumping poison into the air and dumping it into our water telling us about it, we’d never know how the regulators are harming them. That is beautiful.

  4. Bart DePalma says:

    I would suggest the following reform:

    1) Enact a constitutional amendment forbidding any other branch of the government from enacting regulations apart from Congress and voiding all current regulations not enacted by Congress in five years (giving Congress an chance to enact them into law if it wishes).

    2) The bureaucracy can still recommend regulations to Congress the way the President recommends a budget. In this way, Congress can benefit from the bureaucracy’s research on the matter, but we still maintain a republican government accountable to the people.

  5. shortchain says:

    I’m in general agreement that it isn’t the quantity but the quality of regulations that matters, yet — call me a conservative, if you wish, I observe that, as in so many cases we meet with in life, quantity is the enemy of quality.

    (This is not true in market situations or evolutionary environments, where one is free to choose the best. That’s not the case here.)

  6. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    As you may notice, I’m in sympathy with your goals here — but I would gently suggest that, having seen the monstrosities that Congress produces when it really wants to micromanage, can we really expect a better result if all regulations must be directly written by Congress?

    Committees of equals don’t write the best rules. A better approach to accountability is a hierarchical authority, with somebody to call on it.

  7. Bartbuster says:

    A better approach to accountability is a hierarchical authority, with somebody to call on it.

    I’m pretty sure we have a branch of our government set up to do just that.

  8. Bart DePalma says:

    SC:

    This is why I am suggesting that the bureaucracy can continue to research and write regulations, but only the people’s representatives can enact them. Think of this as transforming the bureaucracy from a governing body into a very large congressional staff.

  9. dcpetterson says:

    I think the idea that liberals “want more regulation” is an oversimplification. Speaking as a liberal, I don’t want regulation for the sake of regulation. I want regulation that addresses particular issues. Unfortunately, in the bumper-sticker slogan world that takes the place of much of our current political conversation, the details of what regulations should exist, and how they should be implemented, are often glossed over in favor of a simple Yes-vs-No shouting match.

    Fortunately for us, the American regulatory system works pretty well, when it is implemented and funded properly.

    1) Regulatory agencies are accountable to Congress. Regulatory agencies are created by Congress, and the rules by which they operate are restricted by law. Congress can alter these rules at any time, by enacting a different law. Congress can require whatever accounting is necessary to achieve proper oversight.

    2) Regulatory agencies are accountable to the People. We elect the Congress, and the Congress is empowered to create, monitor, alter, and disband regulatory agencies. As with any other part of our government, We the People are in ultimate control.

    3) The People have recourse in the courts. While it is true that powerful interests, be they corporate or governmental, can hire more lawyers, it still is also true that America has an independent judiciary. Anyone who complains that We the People have no adequate redress against regulatory agencies must also be in favor of reining in corporate power for precisely the same reasons.

    4) There is constant cost-benefit analysis as the effects of regulations are measured against their intended impact. As mentioned above, We the People, through our elected representatives, have the power to plan ahead, and then to correct course as we go.

    5) The system is flexible. As new needs are recognized, often the regulatory agencies can adapt to changing realities. If an agency oversteps its authority, of course, We the People can pull them back.

    6) Regulatory agencies can either be set up to expire once their purpose is served (if the need is recognized as a temporary one), or can be made permanent (to create continuity and stability in addressing permanent or long-standing issues), or can be created to require periodic review to assess whether their mission remains needed as time goes on.

    7) Regulatory agencies are efficient, and can be placed outside of the political theater. As with an independent judiciary, they can be protected from passing fads and manipulative ad campaigns. This is one of their greatest strengths.

  10. Bart DePalma says:

    DC:

    Let us say that the voters are made aware of a bad regulation (a near impossibility) enacted by a progressive president, wish to reverse it by a 55% to 45% margin and elect a 55% majority of the House and Senate to do so. How precisely do the 55% majority of the people’s representatives in Congress do so in face of a filibuster and a veto. As you suggested in your last comment, progressives have designed the regulatory state to avoid political accountability to the people.

    As to the courts, the judiciary grants regulators the benefit of the doubt in their findings and regulations. It is exceedingly rare that a court will find that a regulator made a finding that was not based upon sound science or that the regulation itself is irrational and arbitrary.

    In short, the regulatory state is an effective dictatorship.

  11. Gator says:

    Shortchain said: “having seen the monstrosities that Congress produces when it really wants to micromanage, can we really expect a better result if all regulations must be directly written by Congress?

    Committees of equals don’t write the best rules. A better approach to accountability is a hierarchical authority, with somebody to call on it.”

    On the nose here Shortchain. The only danger, and this goes to DCs regulatory agencies as well, we have to be very careful not to allow too great a concentration of power or control. The AUTHORITY still needs to come from Congress to a large degree. The regulators can’t be autonomous. The regulatory framework should be done through a hierarchical authority, with the seeds for the regulatory ideas coming from the inspectors and auditors who are on the ground and know the industry.

  12. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    Both parties have participated in the creation of the regulatory state. The banks helped write the regulations that prevent S&L’s and Credit Unions from offering some financial instruments. The insurance industry has helped create obstacles to new companies entering their fields.

    A block from where I live a defunct gas station has existed for years, ever since the owner, dissatisfied with the ROI he was getting on the rent, closed it so he could build a mini-mall. Unfortunately, across the street is a SA — and they got that one shot down on regulatory grounds (the site is polluted, naturally, having been a gas station for decades). So then the owner tried to sell it to a developer who would build an apartment building (and clean up the site). The owner of the apartments next door took care of that — again through regulations on setbacks, parking restrictions, etc. (Mind you, I don’t have a dog in this fight — I would rather have a parking lot on that site.)

    I would say that the regulatory state is effectively an oligarchy. It makes it hard for anyone who incurs the opposition of somebody with money to get a regulation through. Yet, oddly enough, it doesn’t seem to harshly affect the very rich…

  13. Bartbuster says:

    In short, the regulatory state is an effective dictatorship.

    Because there is no way the regulation haters will ever elect a GOP president?

  14. shortchain says:

    Absolutely, Gator. We need, above all, accountability to the people. Which, as I agree with Bart in this much about, the federal bureaucracy has devised means of obscuring. That needs to be fixed. But will Congress actually look into this, or will they investigate the WH travel office again (or equivalent)?

  15. Gator says:

    Shortchain

    “But will Congress actually look into this, or will they investigate the WH travel office again (or equivalent)?”

    OK, that’s a silly question. Partisan politics first, comrade! From both sides of the aisle.

  16. dcpetterson says:

    Bart:
    Let us say that the voters are made aware of a bad regulation

    The situation you describe has to do with the way our government was designed. Let’s say the people become aware of a need that is opposed by a regressive president. The People elect a 60% majority in both Houses, and Congress passes the law needed to create the necessary regulatory agency, but the regressive president vetoes this law. The People wait until the next election cycle and replace him. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. You are welcome to read the Constitution.

    As to the courts, the judiciary grants regulators the benefit of the doubt in their findings and regulations.

    As I mentioned, the courts sometimes side with corporations, insurance companies, and other dictatorial entities. The People can petition Congress, or appeal the decisions. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. An independent judiciary is one of the greatest strengths of our system.

    In short, our government functions as designed by our Founders and as described in the Constitution.

  17. dcpetterson says:

    shortchain,

    I agree with you that there is room for improvement in the system as it now stands. There is always room for improvement, in anything created by us mere mortals. And you are correct, the scales are weighted too much toward the wealthy and powerful. It is a shame these are the same people who have the most money to spend on election ads.

    It is sad also that corporations often get to write the rules by which they are supposed to be regulated. It’s criminal that the anti-regulatory crowd is most guilty of letting businesses write their own regulations, thus making the regulatory agencies less responsive to the needs and will of We the People — after which they complain about the existence of regulations. Pretty typical of this crowd, intentionally breaking government so they can bleat that government doesn’t work.

  18. Bart DePalma says:

    DC:

    The purpose of constitutional checks and balances was to limit the exercise of government power over the people as your example well demonstrates. The perversity of the regulatory state is that the checks and balances on the elected branches of government prevent them from limiting anti-democratic regulatory decrees.

  19. Bartbuster says:

    The perversity of the regulatory state is that the checks and balances on the elected branches of government prevent them from limiting anti-democratic regulatory decrees.

    Because the Cheney/Bush disaster made it impossible for a GOP candidate to be elected president for the next 20 years?

  20. dcpetterson says:

    The perversity of the regulatory state is that the checks and balances on the elected branches of government prevent them from limiting anti-democratic regulatory decrees.

    Please.

    Regulatory agencies are limited the same way anything else in our government is limited. They must obey the Constitution and the applicable laws. They are controlled or altered the way any other act of Congress is controlled or altered — through judicial decision and / or additional legislation. There is nothing any more “anti-democratic” about them than about the decision of a judge or any other act of Congress.

    The argument you’re presenting is simply a way of distracting the public from the necessary protections that our Congress has set up between the People and various predatory industries. And that’s the whole reason the right -wing opposes regulatory agencies — because these agencies make it more difficult for corporate interests to exert their anti-democratic and predatory damage upon We the People.

    Got to get back to work. Have a good afternoon!

  21. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: The perversity of the regulatory state is that the checks and balances on the elected branches of government prevent them from limiting anti-democratic regulatory decrees.

    DC: Regulatory agencies are limited the same way anything else in our government is limited. They must obey the Constitution and the applicable laws.

    You are kidding, right? The Constitution nowhere authorizes the executive bureaucracy to enact law. Progressive courts had to create the legal fiction of “quasi -legislation” to find the regulatory state constitutional.

    They are controlled or altered the way any other act of Congress is controlled or altered — through judicial decision and / or additional legislation.

    The Constitution offers checks and balances on Congress’ power to legislate before the law is enacted by breaking Congress into two bodies – one representing localities and the other representing states – and then allows the President to veto the bill. None of these checks and balances apply to regulations.

    There is nothing any more “anti-democratic” about them than about the decision of a judge or any other act of Congress.

    Democracy is government by the people directly or through elected representatives. Judicial legislation is anti-democratic. Acts of an elected Congress are democratic so long as they are implementing the will of the people.

    The argument you’re presenting is simply a way of distracting the public from the necessary protections that our Congress has set up between the People and various predatory industries.

    The reform I offered was to return this legislative power to the Congress.

  22. Bartbuster says:

    Acts of an elected Congress are democraticso long as they are implementing the will of the people.in a representative democracy

    I fixed that for you, Baghdad. You’re welcome.

  23. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    I, for one, do not believe that I want regulations strictly promulgated by Congress that affect the food industry as long as Citizens United allows the food industry carte blanche in electing that Congress.

    The reason regulatory agencies are set up as they are, by legislative enactment by Congress but with a bit of a wall separating those agencies from Congress is essentially the same as having a separate branch of government, UNELECTED, the judiciary.

    As far as needing a supermajority to get rid of regulation, “tough shit”! THAT’S the way the Constitution sets it up! Whether by veto or a supermajority in the Senate, the Constitution requires 2/3’s to override a veto and allows each house to set its rules.

    Didn’t hear Bart bitching when the minority party was using those rules to obstruct progressive legislation or even on nominees who later passed with a unanimous vote!

    Consistency! Can’t LOVE it when it works for you then PISS AND MOAN when it don’t.

    THAT’S AMERICA! Don’t like it? GTFO!

  24. Gator says:

    Afternoon Max

    Go watch this video. Found it just for you. If you haven’t seen it you will be LOL by the end ! Have a great PM.

  25. Bart DePalma says:

    Max aka Birdpilot says: The reason regulatory agencies are set up as they are, by legislative enactment by Congress but with a bit of a wall separating those agencies from Congress is essentially the same as having a separate branch of government, UNELECTED, the judiciary.

    Article III does not empower the judiciary to set policy through legislation. Indeed, the Constitution did not even authorize federal common law.

    As far as needing a supermajority to get rid of regulation, “tough shit”! THAT’S the way the Constitution sets it up!

    Article I grants Congress alone plenary powers to legislate and nowhere grants the executive that power.

    Didn’t hear Bart bitching when the minority party was using those rules to obstruct progressive legislation or even on nominees who later passed with a unanimous vote!

    I have no problem eliminating the filibuster. That is not a check and balance established by the Constitution.

  26. dcpetterson says:

    Moving a bit toward what I think was Michael’s intent in the article —

    Regulations governing things like financial transactions, food safety, general product safety, broadcast licenses for TV and radio stations — I don’t think many Americans would have problems with most of these.

    What areas of current regulation to all of you approve of? What areas do you disapprove of? The point isn’t “Let’s have more” or “Let’s have less.” The point is, “What makes sense?”

    After outlining general areas of reasonable regulation (“product safety,” “labeling of ingredients”), which specific sorts of regulation make the most or least sense? (“no lead in children’s toys”). Then, how much do we need to spend on inspections and enforcement? What are reasonable penalties for violating the useful regulations?

    Any takers on addressing any of these questions?

  27. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 18:

    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

    By this Paragraph, Congress, using its “plenary power to legislate” may legislatively delegate what may be “necessary and proper” to execute the powers of the Constitution, including to “any Department or Officer”. This has been found to be Constitutional by SCOTUS.

    Congress DOES retain the power of review and can nullify, by legislation, any regulation promulgated by a “Department or Officer”. At such point that Congress thus wishes to do so, it falls, once again, under the Constitution (as per a Presidential veto of such legislation, such needing 2/3s of both houses to override) and the rules of each house, (as provided by Article 1, Section 5, Paragraph 2).

    Sorry, but if you disagree, you are going against the EXPRESS DICTATES of the Founding Fathers.

    Why would one hate the Constitution so much that they would change what has been Law, practice and procedure, for over 230 years?

  28. Why would one hate the Constitution so much that they would change what has been Law, practice and procedure, for over 230 years?

    Because one was dissatisfied with the results, naturally.

  29. shortchain says:

    Michael,

    I believe more than just dissatisfaction would be required. I suspect they would think they can make it better. The question is for whom? The way things work at present in the Congress gives me a deep suspicion that it wouldn’t be for the good of the vast majority… if it could even be done.

  30. dcpetterson says:

    Max, you’re absolutely correct. The idea that there is something “wrong” or “anti-democratic” or “unconstitutional” about regulatory agencies is not only silly, but is, itself, unconstitutional.

    You are also correct in your earlier observation, that one of the most useful things about regulatory agencies is that they are outside of the normal boundaries of electoral whim. This is important for the same reason that we don’t elect Supreme Court Justices. The Founders were pretty damn smart to make the President and Vice-President the only members of the Executive Branch who are elected. There’s a reason they did that. (The Cabinet is not elected, for example.)

    This is not to say that our regulatory structure is perfect. It can certainly be improved, as could all human structures. (Even the legislature was improved — originally, the Senate was not elected by the citizenry.) But the structure as it exists in a wonderfully brilliant combination of independence and accountability.

  31. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Since the word was brought up earlier in reference to Congress and legislation I thought it proper to show the Webster dictionary definition.

    plenary \PLEE-nuh-ree\
    DEFINITION
    adjective
    1: complete in every respect : absolute, unqualified

    As our resident lawyer has stated that Congress’s power to legislate is “plenary”, AND
    plenary means “absolute, unqualified”, AND
    Congress has legislated the creation of various Executive Departments as allowed by the Constitution, AND
    Congress has legislated the ability to regulate to be within the venue of those departments, subject to Congressional review and nullification, AND
    such plenary legislation has been found Constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States, THEREFORE
    what has a person who professes adherence to the Constitution got to complain about?

  32. Bartbuster says:

    what has a person who professes adherence to the Constitution got to complain about?

    Don’t worry, if the GOP gains control of the Executive branch Baghdad’s concern for “the Will of the People” will quickly cease.

  33. Bart DePalma says:

    Max: By this Paragraph, Congress, using its “plenary power to legislate” may legislatively delegate what may be “necessary and proper” to execute the powers of the Constitution, including to “any Department or Officer”. This has been found to be Constitutional by SCOTUS.

    Branches of the government may not delegate a power granted them by the Constitution. If the people wanted to create an unelected fourth branch of government with a combination of legislative and judicial power, they needed to amend the Constitution to do so.

    As our resident lawyer has stated that Congress’s power to legislate is “plenary”, AND plenary means “absolute, unqualified…

    Plenary means that only Congress may exercise the power to legislate, not that Congress’ power to legislate is unlimited.

    dcpetterson says: But the structure as it exists in a wonderfully brilliant combination of independence and accountability.

    Can you say oxymoron?

  34. Mainer says:

    Yes I probably can Bart but only the last part seems appropriate.

    Would not a simplistic view of this be that Congress passes laws (you know produces the coloring book) and the Executive branch is expected to administer and enforce them (you know starts filling in the areas, got crayons?) while the court system makes sure every one working on the picture stays with in the lines?

    Bart enough of your constitutional clap trap. We are a huge nation with over 300 million people and as complex a society as there exists out there. With out rules, regulations and people to make sure they are followed we would devolve onto economic anarchy over night.

    Have you ever been a Federal reg enforcer Bart? I would seem to doubt it but any thing is possible. I was and your vision of the process is at best unique. You decry 150K pages of rules…..oh my god run around and set your hair on fire there are 150 K pages of rules every mom and pop start up business has to sift through before they can build a left handed wooden widget……….wahhhhhh, histrionics, wahhhhhhh much hand waving, wahhhhhhhh.

    Bart are you even aware of how the CFR’s are set up? Industry knows and I can assure you that if some one is in any particular type of endeavor they have just those CFR’s on their desk that pertains to what they are doing. Have you ever read some of the stuff in a CFR? It is some of the most tedious reading ever prodced. I should know as I have produced any number of briefing papers for the rule making process. I have taken the phone calls from industry, oh and I have taken the calls from congress critters too so don’t think they are not involved.

    Bart I don’t want congress critters writing exact rules. To be blunt they don’t know shit from Shinola. Let them be generalists, please I beg of you, let them be generalists. I can not think of even one example of congress critters getting down into the reglulatory weeds where they have not FUBARed it. If they are down in the detail weeds it is so that they can gain som level of advantage for some major contributor at the expense of the over all program.

    You piss and moan about this administration adding regulators. Yup happens every time after the right has been in screwing around with the process. They defund, deemphasise regulation, people get laid off. Then Democrat comes in and decides not to flip off the congress with signing documents and to you know actually administer/enforce the laws that congress critters write and it becomes yet again wahhhhh, set your hair on fire, wahhhhhhhh, the end of the world is coming, wahhhhhh.

    Bart, I like getting on aircraft that most likely will not fall out of the sky. I know they get inspected. I like getting on a ferry boat and beleiving it will not sink because some one like me has been down crawling around in the bilge making sure it is sound. I like taking my grand kids to a Micky D’s in Maine, or Oklahoma or Georgia and knowing that most likely the burger will not kill them. I like picking up my wife’s meds and knowing that they are probably not going to be the cause of her demise……and I like being able to do it any where in this country because you know Americans are kind of like that SouthWest add. I don’t want to touch down in oh say Colorado and and have to wonder if it is safe to eat or buy an asperin.

    It isn’t rules and regulations that are killing America it is greedy a’holes like you that are killing it. Take your bogus constitutional concerns and shove them. Then get the hell out of the way. Some of us would still like to move this nation ahead and we are not afraid of rules. I bet you cheated at Chutes and Ladders when you were a kid didn’t you? Come on now fess up.

  35. Bartbuster says:

    Blankshot, I’d like to jump on your bandwagon, here. I was just thinking about how great it would be if Congress disbanded the FAA and rewrote all the aviation regulations just prior to your next trip to Europe. Unfortunately, a lot of non-wingnuts would probably also land somewhere in the Atlantic, so I can’t join your revolution.

  36. Bart DePalma says:

    Mainer says: Bart enough of your constitutional clap trap. We are a huge nation with over 300 million people and as complex a society as there exists out there. With out rules, regulations and people to make sure they are followed we would devolve onto economic anarchy over night…

    It isn’t rules and regulations that are killing America it is greedy a’holes like you that are killing it. Take your bogus constitutional concerns and shove them. Then get the hell out of the way. Some of us would still like to move this nation ahead and we are not afraid of rules.

    Perfect summary of the authoritarian progressive viewpoint concerning our Constitution and its limited government and how that viewpoint is alive and well inside our bureaucracy.

    This is why I maintain that progressivism is incompatible with our Constitution and a free nation. Compromising with progressivism will always involve compromising our freedom. The only solution is to completely discard progressivism on the ash heap of history along with monarchy, fascism, communism and socialism.

    Bart are you even aware of how the CFR’s are set up? Industry knows and I can assure you that if some one is in any particular type of endeavor they have just those CFR’s on their desk that pertains to what they are doing.

    Big businesses can and do pay the compliance costs of following our bureaucracy. Medium and small businesses generally only become aware of new regulations when the bureaucrats come calling.

    Have you ever read some of the stuff in a CFR? It is some of the most tedious reading ever prodced. I should know as I have produced any number of briefing papers for the rule making process. I have taken the phone calls from industry, oh and I have taken the calls from congress critters too so don’t think they are not involved.

    AH, this explains a great deal. For what bureaucracy you work?

    BTW, when an elected representative has to act as a lobbyist to a ruling bureaucracy, something is definitely wrong with our democracy.

    Bart I don’t want congress critters writing exact rules. To be blunt they don’t know shit from Shinola.

    My suggested reform was for the bureaucracy to research and write proposed regulations for Congress’ enactment. You are free to appear before the appropriate congressional committee and explain how you propose the world should work to the people and their elected representatives.

    Bart, I like getting on aircraft that most likely will not fall out of the sky. I know they get inspected. I like getting on a ferry boat and beleiving it will not sink because some one like me has been down crawling around in the bilge making sure it is sound. I like taking my grand kids to a Micky D’s in Maine, or Oklahoma or Georgia and knowing that most likely the burger will not kill them. I like picking up my wife’s meds and knowing that they are probably not going to be the cause of her demise……and I like being able to do it any where in this country because you know Americans are kind of like that SouthWest add. I don’t want to touch down in oh say Colorado and and have to wonder if it is safe to eat or buy an asperin.

    One of the worst aspects of the regulatory state is that there is very little follow up to determine whether a set of regulations has made an statistically significant difference in achieving their intended goals. For example, if we dropped all regulations concerning your aspirin, is there any evidence at all that folks would sicken or die? The Mexicans allow you to buy drugs OTC which would require a prescription here. There are no reports of mass sickness or death from such unregulated distribution of drugs.

    The difference between you and I is that I believe my fellow citizens are generally adults and you believe that all of them except for bureaucrats and progressives are children in need of command and control.

  37. Bartbuster says:

    The Mexicans allow

    Are you aware that Mexico is sliding towards Somalia status? I’m pretty sure that Mexico is not the direction we want to be headed.

    There are no reports of mass sickness or death from such unregulated distribution of drugs.

    Probably because many reporters in Mexico are dying from sudden lead poisoning.

  38. Bartbuster says:

    I think it would be great if the next GOP presidential candidate ran on a “We Need to be More Like Mexico” platform. That sounds like a real winner.

  39. Brian says:

    Mexico is also one of two countries expected to collapse in the next five years, Pakistan being the other. (Yay for trivia night) Granted, that report is 2 years old, but still, they’re a non ideal country to take examples of.

  40. Bartbuster says:

    I’ll bet there are even fewer government regulations in Somalia than in Mexico. As great a place as Mexico is to live, Somalia must be even better! Does anyone know if there are reports of mass deaths from unregulated distribution of drugs in Somalia?

  41. Bartbuster says:

    Baghdad, I’m not hearing any complaints about mass deaths from lead contaminated toys in China. What do you think of the pansies who want to keep lead out of toys? Heck, I bet eating the lead paint on your toys were one of the highlights of your childhood.

  42. mclever says:

    Yeah, I want to go back to the days when any old charlatan could hang up a “doctor” sign and peddle whatever vile concoction he could contrive as a “cure” for whatever ails ya with no way to tell the difference between a legitimate medical professional with proven treatments and a hustler. Those regulations that require licensing and FDA validation of medical claims are how we trust that we’re seeing a real doctor and not a quack. (You check those supplements at GNC that all say, “These claims have not been validated by the FDA.” In other words, buyer beware, possible quackery here.) People are still free to take homeopathic remedies, but with the awareness of whether the claims are tested.

    Furthermore, I might point out that those”unregulated” countries get a lot of their pharmaceuticals from other countries where production quality *is* regulated, so they at least have the consumer protections of foreign governments picking up where theirs fall short, which may help to reduce some of the casualties that would otherwise result from lack of quality control or product testing.

  43. mclever says:

    Oh, and can I just add how utterly laughable it is to suggest that Mainer is a “Perfect summary of the authoritarian progressive viewpoint”?

    Mainer?

    Seriously??

    He’s about as moderate as anyone who posts here, and most of what he says falls under “common sense” rather than “authoritarian progressive.”

  44. Bart DePalma says:

    Mainer says: Bart enough of your constitutional clap trap. We are a huge nation with over 300 million people and as complex a society as there exists out there. With out rules, regulations and people to make sure they are followed we would devolve onto economic anarchy over night…It isn’t rules and regulations that are killing America it is greedy a’holes like you that are killing it. Take your bogus constitutional concerns and shove them. Then get the hell out of the way. Some of us would still like to move this nation ahead and we are not afraid of rules.

    BD: Perfect summary of the authoritarian progressive viewpoint concerning our Constitution and its limited government and how that viewpoint is alive and well inside our bureaucracy.

    mclever says: Mainer? Seriously?? He’s about as moderate as anyone who posts here, and most of what he says falls under “common sense” rather than “authoritarian progressive.”

    Really, really.

    Forget your personal like for Mainer and imagine if George W. Bush announced in a speech to the nation: “Enough with this constitutional claptrap. Without my rules and regulations and people to make sure you follow them, we would devolve onto economic anarchy over night. It isn’t rules and regulations that are killing America it is a’holes like you liberals that are killing it. Take your bogus constitutional concerns and shove them. Then get the hell out of the way. Some of us would still like to move this nation ahead and we are not afraid of rules.”

    Be honest now. Would you be calling Dubya “common sense” and “moderate?”

    Labeling as “authoritarian” a desire to shitcan the Constitution and a demand that the citizenry follow the dictats of unelected bureaucrats is being kind. Totalitarianism comes more readily to mind reading Mainer’s rant. The only thing that was missing was rhetoric about “Good Americans” following the state.

  45. Bartbuster says:

    Be honest now. Would you be calling Dubya “common sense” and “moderate?”

    I’d probably be calling him a gibberish spewing moron, because that rant makes no sense at all. Neither as a policy position (from his point of view) nor as a criticism of Mainer (from your point of view). It”s nothing but gibberish.

  46. Bartbuster says:

    Baghdad, I really would like to hear your views on lead paint. Do you think the lead paint you ate as a child is influencing your views on the necessity of regulations?

  47. mclever says:

    Bart,

    Your criticism of Mainer makes no sense. Your false paraphrasing of him puts words in his mouth that were not there, regardless of whether those words were spoken by a liberal or a conservative. Nothing that Mainer said could possibly be equated with “shitcan the Constitution.” Such distortions are dishonest and disrespectful to reasonable discourse.

    The ability of Congress and the Executive Branch to establish regulatory agencies for purposes of enforcing the law is Constitutionally sound and backed by generations of Supreme Court rulings and precedent. If anything, your suggestion that such agencies are extra-Constitutional shows a blatant disregard for our system of government and established jurisprudence. I find it difficult to believe that you value our Constitutional system of government as much as you claim if you are so willing to discard fundamental elements of that Constitution.

  48. Bart DePalma says:

    Mclever: Your criticism of Mainer makes no sense. Your false paraphrasing of him puts words in his mouth that were not there, regardless of whether those words were spoken by a liberal or a conservative.”

    I opened my post with a full quotation of the relevant language in Mainer’s post. My Dubya scenario deleted the swearing, aimed it at liberals instead of conservatives and changed one passive section to active voice so it made sense. The rest is all Mainer. You are welcome to have the Dubya character use Mainer’s original statement. The effect is the same.

    Nothing that Mainer said could possibly be equated with “shitcan the Constitution.”

    You are kidding, I hope.

    Mainer: “[E]nough of your constitutional clap trap…Take your bogus constitutional concerns and shove them. Then get the hell out of the way.”

    What part of that rant is not calling for the Constitution to be “shit canned?”

    The ability of Congress and the Executive Branch to establish regulatory agencies for purposes of enforcing the law is Constitutionally sound and backed by generations of Supreme Court rulings and precedent. If anything, your suggestion that such agencies are extra-Constitutional shows a blatant disregard for our system of government and established jurisprudence. I find it difficult to believe that you value our Constitutional system of government as much as you claim if you are so willing to discard fundamental elements of that Constitution.

    Please. You are free to identify the provisions of the Constitution which state or even imply that Congress may delegate it’s plenary legislative power and the courts’ judicial power to an executive bureaucracy. Such delegation is in facial contradiction with the express language of Articles I, II & III.

    The progressive courts rewrote these articles by inventing a legal fiction called quasi legislative and judicial power where the Congress could delegate 99% of legislative and judicial powers to the bureaucracy so long as there was the barest of outer boundaries to the delegated powers. For example, EPA can enact legislation under the Clean Air Act so long as the subject matter is somehow connected with air pollution. Of course, nothing actually in the Constitution permits this and honest progressive legal scholars will admit as much. They simply do not care. The goal of progressives like Mainer is to remove constitutional barriers to their desired dictatorial “rule by experts.” This goal has been openly expressed in progressive theory for over a century.

  49. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    No need to argue with Bart on this subject.

    In spite the fact that Departments and Regulatory agencies have been proposed by Presidents of BOTH parties, and legislatively established by Congress in bipartisan votes and upheld as Constitutonal by SCOTUS’ both right and left-leaning, it matters not.

    Once he substitutes his personal opinion for settled law, the argument is done.

  50. Bartbuster says:

    What part of that rant is not calling for the Constitution to be “shit canned?”

    None of it. Your claims about our regulatory system violating the Constitution are complete nonsense.

  51. mclever says:

    As Michael pointed out waaayyyy back at the beginning in his article, the argument shouldn’t be over whether or not we should have *any* regulations, but which regulations are necessary to ensure a fair and just society with reasonable consumer protections against fraud, monopolies, or misrepresentation.

    I’m very, very OK with regulations that enable me to make informed choices about what I put in or on my body. You know, regulations that make sure if they label it as “beef” that the meat really is at least 99% beef. Or that the label “organic” means something other than just a marketing slogan. I want to know what I’m eating, know that any medications I take are tested and the likely side-effects understood, know that the clothes I wear are really made of the fabrics they claim, etc. I like knowing that the professional licenses of the people I go to for various services mean something about their level of expertise or competence. I like knowing that the restaurants are inspected for cleanliness, that the gas I put in my tank is of a standardized composition and octane level, that the electricity coming to my house will be at a standard and consistent power level, etc.

    If I buy a car, I want to know that all of the parts are manufactured to a specific quality standard to minimize the risk that they’ll fail. I like being able to trust that my windshield in my car is designed to crumble rather than create huge shards of glass, so it’s less likely to impale me in an accident. From each nut and bolt to the configuration of the gas tank, I want to know that every piece and part passed minimum safety standards before I risk my life and limb by climbing inside that car.

    Even the really little things that we probably never think about. I like being able to trust that the contractor who built my house didn’t have to worry if the nails were manufactured with the right composition of steel and tensile strength. If I buy a lamp, I like trusting that the circuitry passed minimum safety standards, so it’s not going to short-out and cause a fire the first time I turn it on. If I buy new carpeting, I want to be able to choose between acrylic and natural fibers, and know that I’m getting what I paid for. I want to know that the fumes I smell emanating from the new jungle-gym aren’t toxic to the kids. I don’t want to worry about the catfood I buy or the safety of toys. I like knowing that the train tracks that run through my town are periodically inspected to prevent disastrous derailments.

    All of these involve government regulations and government agencies to manage enforcement.

    What aspects of personal safety are you willing to cut corners on?

  52. mclever says:

    Geez, Bart.

    Mainer is saying that your concerns about regulatory agencies somehow violating the Constitution are bogus, not that the Constitution itself is.

    And, in this case, Mainer is right, as has already been shown above.

  53. Bartbuster says:

    Baghdad, you can’t flee this topic now. You have to post more examples of how Mexico’s regulatory system is superior to ours.

  54. Bart DePalma says:

    Mclever:

    I disagree with your assumption that government regulations ensure safety and the lack of regulation ensures danger. The number of obvious dangers addressed by regulation (like placement of the gas tank in a car) are dwarfed by those imposing very expensive solutions for marginal if any increase in safety (recent particulate regulations) or for non-existent problems (Toyota electrical system, Alar on apples and the mother of all regulatory boondoggles – CO2 caps).

    The solutions are internal and external accountability – solid science, cost benefit analyses before and after enactment and returning the power to enact regulations to Congress.

  55. Bartbuster says:

    The solutions are internal and external accountability – solid science, cost benefit analyses before and after enactment and returning the power to enact regulations to Congress.

    Blankshot, I’m sure no one doubts for a second that you would be arguing the exact opposite of the Dems controlled Congress and the GOP controlled the White House.

    In the meantime, how about if you post some more great examples of Mexican regulatory success.

  56. mclever says:

    Bart,

    I challenge you to find a country with fewer regulations than ours regarding food safety that also have better food quality. I challenge you to find a country with no consumer safety protections that has fewer consumer injuries per capita due to quality control issues. I challenge you to find a country with no consumer fraud protections that doesn’t have rampant social injustice.

    If you do find such a country, then you can explain why you aren’t living there yet.

  57. Bartbuster says:

    If you do find such a country, then you can explain why you aren’t living there yet.

    I am sure that wingnuts will start flooding into Mexico once their lack of regulations becomes common knowledge. The Mexicans will probably start building fences to keep out the wingnuts. Of course, since those fences will be unregulated they will soon fall down, and the wingnuts will continue to cross the border. At that point one could certainly argue that a policy of no government regulations is good for America, as long as that policy is practiced in Mexico.

  58. Bart DePalma says:

    mclever says: I challenge you to find a country with fewer regulations than ours regarding food safety that also have better food quality.

    The EU generally gets along with fewer food safety regs (as opposed to food regs meant to protect branding like Italian regs concerning wine) and has food at least as good as ours.

    I challenge you to find a country with no consumer safety protections that has fewer consumer injuries per capita due to quality control issues. I challenge you to find a country with no consumer fraud protections that doesn’t have rampant social injustice.

    False choice. The choice is not between anarchy and our current regulatory state, but rather democratic accountability and dictatorship in enacting regulations.

  59. Bartbuster says:

    False choice. The choice is not between anarchy and our current regulatory state, but rather democratic accountability and dictatorship in enacting regulations.

    Blankshot, are you aware that the head of the EPA is appointed by the President and is confirmed by Congress?

  60. mclever says:

    Apparently, whether the EU has lower or higher restrictions probably has to do with who’s counting which restrictions.

    EU has lower regulations on Mad Cow disease, which is why there’s the occasional scare…

    EU has higher restrictions on genetically modified food that we do, which is why some of our products can’t be sold there…

    EU’s rules on labeling and inspections are comparable, and even slightly tougher in some places…

    So, how again are EU’s food safety regulations more lax than ours?

  61. mclever says:

    No, it’s not a false choice, Bart.

    You disputed my claim that regulation of industry and government-mandated consumer protections promote the safety and well-being of citizens.

    If that’s not the case, then I’m asking you for evidence. If government regulations do not improve safety, then you should be able to readily point to some place that has no regulations and show that it makes them safer.

    Your hand waving about a “dictatorship” is the false choice, considering that all regulations in our country are enacted by the democratically elected government and enforced by the executive branch under its Constitutional authority to do so.

  62. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart: “The choice is not between anarchy and our current regulatory state, but rather democratic accountability and dictatorship in enacting regulations.

    Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 3:
    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 18:
    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

    By this Paragraph, Congress, using its “plenary power to legislate” may legislatively delegate what may be “necessary and proper” to execute the powers of the Constitution, including to “any Department or Officer”. This has been found to be Constitutional by SCOTUS.

    Congress DOES retain the power of review and can nullify, by legislation, any regulation promulgated by a “Department or Officer”. At such point that Congress thus wishes to do so, it falls, once again, under the Constitution (as per a Presidential veto of such legislation, such needing 2/3s of both houses to override) and the rules of each house, (as provided by Article 1, Section 5, Paragraph 2).

    Sorry, but if you disagree, you are going against the EXPRESS DICTATES of the Founding Fathers.

  63. Bart DePalma says:

    Max:

    And to which branch of Government does Article I grant the Section 8 powers that you quoted?

    Do the Article 8 powers anywhere say that Congress may delegate those powers to the Executive?

    I am well aware that the New Deal and later courts rendered the bedrock constitutional principle of non-delegation of powers a virtual nullity. That hardly means that the Founders intended such an result.

  64. Bart DePalma says:

    mclever says: Your hand waving about a “dictatorship” is the false choice, considering that all regulations in our country are enacted by the democratically elected government….

    When precisely did we start electing bureaucrats? I must have missed that election.

  65. Bartbuster says:

    When precisely did we start electing bureaucrats? I must have missed that election.

    Blankshot, are you aware that the head of the EPA is appointed by the President and is confirmed by Congress?

  66. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart: “I am well aware that the New Deal and later courts rendered the bedrock constitutional principle of non-delegation of powers a virtual nullity.

    Actually, Bart, my friend, you ARE NOT very “well aware” of history as it pertains to regulatory agencies.

    The Interstate Commerce Commission was established in 1887, NOT during “the New Deal”. And NOT approved by “later courts”, presuming you mean the Hughes Court (Who, BTW was nominated by Hoover). Grover Cleveland was President and signed the Interstate Commerce Act, which created the ICC, passed by the 49th Congress, into law.

  67. Bart DePalma says:

    CBO admits to GOP House committee that it projects Obamacare killing 800,000 more jobs.

  68. Bart DePalma says:

    Max:

    The Supremes struck down a two major New Deal regulatory efforts in 1935 using the Nondelegation Doctrine, but changed course in a series of cases after FDR put his people on the bench.

  69. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: When precisely did we start electing bureaucrats? I must have missed that election.

    BB: are you aware that the head of the EPA is appointed by the President and is confirmed by Congress?

    When did appointments become elections?

  70. Bartbuster says:

    When did appointments become elections?

    When the person doing the appointing is elected. That’s how government works, Blankshot. We elect the people who set policy, and they select the people who carry out policy. Elections have consequences, cupcake. Stop crying about it.

  71. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart:”Do the Article 8 powers anywhere say that Congress may delegate those powers to the Executive?

    NOT Article 1, Section 8 (your error above) but by Article 6, Section 2:
    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;

    Max may not substitute his opinion for settled Law that IS the Supreme Law of the Land;
    Mainer may not substitute his opinion for settled Law that IS the Supreme Law of the Land;
    shortchain may not substitute his opinion for settled Law that IS the Supreme Law of the Land;
    bartbuster may not substitute his opinion for settled Law that IS the Supreme Law of the Land; AND
    Bart may not substitute his opinion for settled Law that IS the Supreme Law of the Land;

    Laws passed by the Congress and signed by the President and, when necessary, affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States are the Supreme Law of the Land as much as is the Constitution (by the use of the conjunction “and”) pursuant to the Constitution of the United States of America, Article 6, Section 2.

    Sorry, Bart. This illusion you hold that your opinion trumps the above truth is only that: an illusion within a dream being dreamt by a sleeping mind.

  72. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: : “Do the Article 8 powers anywhere say that Congress may delegate those powers to the Executive?”

    NOT Article 1, Section 8 (your error above)

    Congress’ powers are set forth in Section 8 and that is what you were citing above.

    but by Article 6, Section 2:
    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land…

    This is the Supremacy Clause, which simply states that Congress’ exercise of its enumerated powers is the law of the land. In contrast, Congress’ exercises of powers not included in Article I are unconstitutional. This includes the delegation of its legislative powers.

    Bart may not substitute his opinion for settled Law that IS the Supreme Law of the Land…

    Anyone can observe, however, that the Constitution nowhere allows Congress to delegate its legislative powers to the executive and that the courts invented a legal fiction to find such delegations constitutional.

    Continuing your tour of Article I will not change this undeniable fact.

  73. Bartbuster says:

    the Constitution nowhere allows Congress to delegate its legislative powers to the executive and that the courts invented a legal fiction to find such delegations constitutional

    Too bad your opinion on the constitutionality of this has no standing.

  74. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart: “Anyone can observe, however, that the Constitution nowhere allows Congress

    Nor does the Constitution anywhere in Article 9 expressly prohibit Congress from legislatively creating regulatory agencies, while retaining the ability of oversight and nullification of regulations made by those agencies, ultimately, therefore, giving up none of its power or independence. This could have easily occurred in Article 9, Section 6. It did not. Combined with the necessary and proper and the supremacy clauses, Congress may so act. With the other two branches providing the checks and balances of requiring a Presidential signature and of judicial review, the system works as it should.

    Thankfully, the writers of the Constitution had the foresight to allow for the growth in both size and complexity of the great country whose outline of governance they were creating, unlike the lack thereof of those who believe in strict construction.

  75. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    BTW, Bart:

    Article 2, Section 2: “ . . . Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments. . . .

    Please note the phrase “not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law”, that, quite expressly, allows Acts of Congress to establish Departments and Officers “not herein otherwise provided for”.

    This is a CLEAR AND EXPRESS STATEMENT that the writers of the Constitution foresaw the need for Congress to act with wide latitude under the “necessary and proper” clause. It also places that action ACROSS multiple branches as it goes on to write of “the Courts of Law”.

  76. Monotreme says:

    Anyone can observe, however, that the Constitution nowhere allows Congress to drive cars, fly in airplanes, or spend taxpayer dollars on nuclear weapons.

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