The US Constitution defines three separate (and supposedly equal) branches of government:
Unfortunately, today we have a fourth branch of government:
- Administrative (or maybe called the Regulatory branch)
How did this happen?
The founders probably could not have anticipated this happening. In the day and age of the writing of the US Constitution, it was not anticipated that regulations would need to be created that were so specific that the Congressmen themselves could not write the words (or at least with the help of some assistants).
I am going to simplify the regulation process a little bit here. Essentially, the Legislative branch creates a bill that says something like:
- the air should be clean
- the water should be clean
- the Federal Reserve can loan money to banks
- there should be no insider trading
- big companies cannot stifle competition
I am being a bit facetious here. There is more detail to those bills – but not a lot more detail. And definitely not enough detail to actually govern a nation.
The Legislative branch creates these bills and they throw parties for themselves while patting themselves on the back. They rush out and tell the average voters how much they love the environment or are looking out for the little guy.
What they don’t tell the average voter is that there is not enough detail in the bill to help anyone do something much more complex than fold a paper airplane. Instead, there are lines somewhere that say something like:
“The Secretary of the XXXX shall enact rules and regulations to make this happen. Also, the Secretary should from time to time come back to Congress and tell us how we are doing at achieving our lofty goals.”
That bill along with the command to the Secretary (part of the Administration) goes to the President of the United States (POTUS). POTUS reads the bill (or has someone read it for him and create Cliff’s Notes version) and sees that the Administration gets more power to do something because the Secretary is part of the Administration. POTUS signs the bill and rushes out to the Rose Garden to tell the voters what a great friend of the environment or the little guy he is (someday I will be able to say “she is” but not today).
Go to the next page to see how it gets even worse!