Welcome to the Administrative State
Hidden beneath the uproar of electoral politics, oil spills and the like is a mini-uproar over the EPA’s new lead paint rules, which will probably double the cost of every renovation job on any older building other than your own residence. First promulgated by the EPA in 2008, the regulations took effect last month, prompting howls from contractors and property owners from sea to shining sea.
Welcome to the Administrative State. This is just another example of the Congress outsourcing its legislative authority to executive branch agencies that it creates and to which it gives “rulemaking” authority with the full force of law. From a constitutional perspective, understand what’s taken place: Congress has given to the Executive Branch both legislative authority and the means of enforcement – in direct violation of a basic precept of constitutional government: the separation of powers.
Executive agencies created by Congress – like the EPA – now largely write the rules that govern our daily lives. Whether one thinks lead paint is good or bad is really not an issue. It’s the lack of accountability to our elected representatives that is. While the EPA would go through a process by which it would publish the proposed rules and elicit public comment, the administrators would ultimately decide what’s good for us and our property unless Congress acts (unlikely) or someone challenges the rules in court (probably a waste of time).
In the end, there are two governments: one we elect and the other we don’t. The former is accountable to the people through the political process and the latter operates without any significant political oversight. This is as true at the state level as it is at the federal. For instance, here in Maine we have all kinds of rules regulating the use of our land – and most were never passed by the Legislature. They come to us compliments of the Maine BEP.
How we got from elected, representative government to The Administrative State is quite a story – one that I’ll discuss in the next installment.
Posted on May 10, 2010
Just one more example of the lack of representation both in Congress and here in Maine as well. Now not only do I have to take a 45 hr code course to be current every time the code changes cycles now I also have another certification to keep current. And the cost gets handed now to the homeowner as well. Plus there appears to be few trainers available to train people for the certification so there is a waiting 2 -3 months long. Also, as a licensed electrician I never received any form of notification from the State informing me that I need to do this. In my opinion there are too many people getting paid way too much to do very little.
Posted on May 10, 2010
I just think of Maine as being run by an overlord society with our legislature as The House of Lords and the enabler of the chosen ones who have christened themselves the "creative class" which also implies that all those not designated as the creative class are relegated to the mindless uncreative masses. Recently the director of the newly created "Office of Innovation" sent out an email in which she decribed Mainers as having "blank stares",when lectured to about the need for capital to grow business. I wonder if she is aware of the source of capital that funds the "Office of Innovation" ? I have been observing this sector for quite some time and have identified a network of chosen ones who feel it is their man- given mission to redesign Maine in their image. I followed the chain of command until I reached the legislature and, taking the news letters from the government management programs as leads, I started reading the legislation that the House of Lords is currently passing. It is shocking. Not only because of what this legislation legitimizes but also because of the statutes used to authorize it - which I discuss in "Socializing The Risk and Privatising The Gain" published on the Augusta Insider. I kept reading the LD1 over and over to assure myself that I was not mistaken or had not missed something but the more I read the more lethal to our constituion , LD1 appears. LD1 arguably transfers the power of taxation to The Small Enterprise Growth Fund, an investment company created by a special act of legislation in 1995 (it is prohibited to create corporations by special acts of legislation in the Maine State constitution). I present this veiw of LD1 - A Transference of the Power of Taxation? - also published on the Augusta Insider.