Rule of Law vs. Regulatory Power

Discussion in 'Politics' started by boedicca, May 30, 2011.

  1. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    Mark Steyn hit the obvious nail on the head:

    The hyper-regulatory state is unrepublican. It strikes at one of the most basic pillars of free society: equality before the law. When you replace "law" with "regulation," equality before it is one of the first casualties. In such a world, there is no law, only a hierarchy of privilege more suited to a sultan's court than a self-governing republic. If you don't want to be subject to "tooth-level surveillance," you better know who to call in Washington. Teamsters Local 522 did, and the United Federation of Teachers, and the Chicago Plastering Institute. And as a result they've all been "granted" ObamaCare "waivers." Rule, Obama! Obama, waive the rules! If only for his cronies. Americans are being transferred remorselessly from the rule of law to rule by an unaccountable bureaucracy of micro-regulatory preferences, subsidies, entitlements and incentives that determine which of the multiple categories of Unequal-Before-The-Law Second-Class (or Third-Class, or Fourth-Class) Citizenship you happen to fall into.

    And yet Americans put up with it. According to the Small Business Administration, the cost to the economy of government regulation is about $1.75 trillion per annum. You and your fellow citizens pay for that – and it's about twice as much as you pay in income tax. Or, to put it another way, the regulatory state sucks up about a quarter-trillion dollars more than the entire GDP of India. As fast as India's growing its economy, we're growing our regulations faster. Oh, well, you shrug, it would be unreasonable to expect the bloated, somnolent hyperpower to match those wiry little fellows back at the call center in Bangalore. Okay. It's also about a quarter-trillion dollars more than the GDP of Canada. Every year we're dumping the equivalent of a G7 economy into ever more ludicrous and wasteful regulation.


    Mark Steyn: Cowed by udderly insane regulations - Orange County Register


    When we say "It's the Spending Stupid", the real issue is "It's the Regulatory Excess, stupid". There is no way to cut spending without dismantling the Regulatory Bureaucracy.

    At bottom, the biggest threat to our Liberty is the army of faceless bureaucrats who dole out favors and punishments in a political and cronyist manner.
     
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  2. cpduprovider
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    cpduprovider Rookie

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    There is only one way to make the government follow the Constitution - FORCE.

    Americans' Demand for Redress of Grievances

    Before It's News
     
  3. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    Couldn't agree more, but I also think it's important to encompass the morass of social manipulation we implement via the tax code in the discussion. Tax 'incentives' and the like have become an essential 'tool' for power-hungry statists. And the really frustrating thing is that so many people, people who might otherwise be sensitive to overreaching government, fall for it when it's packaged as a 'perk' or a 'bonus'.

    We have to get it through our heads that tax incentives are functionally no different than mandates. The debate over the individual mandate has provided us all a valuable service by highlighting this equivalence. It might sound like a harmless little 'bonus' to give tax credits to people for doing something the state thinks we should do, but there is exactly no difference (beyond the psychological ploy) between a tax incentive for someone who does as they're told, and a penalty for the rest of us who don't.

    In my opinion, the widespread habit (at all levels of government) of using taxation as an 'implied power' to dictate behavior is the single greatest threat to equal protection. I'd like to see constitutional amendment that bans the practice outright. Taxes are for financing legitimate government services - not pushing people around.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  4. Greenbeard
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    Greenbeard Gold Member

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    Regulations do not "replace" laws, regulatory authority stems from laws. The legislative body makes a broad policy directive in a piece of legislation and specifically delegates, in that piece of legislation, authority to subject matter experts in the executive branch to operationalize them through the rulemaking process (which, incidentally, is also defined in statute).
     
  5. The Rabbi
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    The Rabbi Diamond Member

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    Only in theory.
    IN actual practice the regulators can implement pretty much what they want and say they are following the law. The EPA is a good example of this, regulating carbon dioxide even though that was not the will of Congress and is contrary to judicial finding.
     
  6. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    If laws were sacrosanct, there wouldn't be any Regulatory Waivers from Obamacare.

    Just sayin'.
     
  7. Greenbeard
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    Greenbeard Gold Member

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    Contrary to judicial finding? A Supreme Court ruling is the reason the EPA is compelled to regulate carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas under the Clean Air Act.

    That's one of the points of delegating to the executive branch--it has the resources and expertise to incorporate flexibility in the legislature's edicts to minimize unintended consequence where directed. So in your example, the Congress wanted to prohibit health plans from imposing annual benefit limits (or rather, they wanted to gradually phase out annual benefit limits between now and 2014). But obviously that has the potential to be disruptive, particularly since a small minority of plans are designed in particular to have extremely low annual benefit limits, so the Congress directed the executive branch to (in the interim period between now and 2014) include mechanisms in the implementation of the annual limit provision to ensure "that access to needed services is made available with a minimal impact on premiums."

    The job of the executive branch is to reconcile these kinds of competing demands from Congress to produce something workable.
     
  8. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    The following is from Boedy's link in the OCR, talkin' about Cass Sunstein.

    Oh, no, wait. Actually, Covert Operative Sunstein passes his day doing more or less what the sign on the door says: He collects information about regulatory affairs. More specifically, he is charged by the president with "an unprecedented government-wide review of regulations" in order to "improve or remove those that are out-of-date, unnecessary, excessively burdensome or in conflict with other rules."

    How many has he got "removed" so far? Well, last week he took to the pages of The Wall Street Journal to crow that dairy farmers will henceforth be exempted from the burdens of a 1970s EPA-era directive classifying milk as an "oil" and subjecting it, as Professor Sunstein typed with a straight face, "to costly rules designed to prevent oil spills." But Ol' MacDonald and his crack team of Red Adair-trained milkmaids can henceforth relax because now, writes Prof Sunstein, Washington is "giving new meaning to the phrase, 'Don't cry over spilled milk.'"


    Me:
    That 1.7 trillion number that Steyn quoted? We're still adding loads of new regulations into the National Registry, so the costs of compliance ain't going down, it's going up. And you wonder why the economy isn't getting better. Well, there's one answer.
     
  9. thereisnospoon
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    thereisnospoon Gold Member

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    Perhaps 20 years ago one could get away with such doublespeak or speaking without saying anything. No more.
    I must say your post there was a grand effort to do just that. You presented your post in a manner of expressing substance, yet were careful to not post anything meaningful.
    This is the same as the tripe we get from elected officials who when challenged with a pointed question either glare at the questioner with utter contempt or offer a response which evades the question in it's entirety.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  10. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    All Greenbeard is doing is providing more evidence that our government is out of control. The more power it consolidates unto itself, the more we must seek permission to go about our personal lives.
     

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