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The Danger of the Regulatory State

Updated on December 11, 2017

American self-Rule

Matthew Spalding, Ph.D.,writing for the Heritage Foundation says this:

“The greatest political revolution since the American Founding has been the shift of power away from the institutions of constitutional government to an oligarchy of unelected experts. They rule over virtually every aspect of our daily lives, ostensibly in the name of the American people but in actuality by the claimed authority of science, policy expertise, and administrative efficiency.”

Spalding here references a recent poll by saying:

“A recent Rasmussen survey found that 75 percent of Americans are angry about the policies of the expanding federal government, 71 percent view the government as an interest group, and 61 percent believe the government does not represent the consent of the governed.”

We the poeple!
We the poeple!

Regulatory Statistics

Here are some statistics published by Iain Murray of- “The Nation Review”:

1) The Federal Register contains 81,405 pages

2) The compliance costs of regulations in America are $1.75 trillion according to a study done by the Small Business Administration.

3) Regulatory costs exceed the projected budget deficit for FY2011 which is $1.48 trillion

4) In 2010 federal agencies have created 3,573 new rules, while Congress only enacted a relatively few 217 new laws.

5) In 2010 the hidden cost of regulations exceeded 50% of federal spending

6) Regulatory costs represent about 12% of Americas GDP in 2010


Regulatory agencies have undermined the separation of powers and representative government by usurping powers from all three branches of government handed them over to a group of unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats. Madison stated that the exercising of power from all three branches of government to be, “the very definition of tyranny” in Federalist #47.

Laws that fail to get legislative support are now enacted via regulatory agencies making our representatives votes meaningless. Law makers are well aware of what the threat of imposing regulations does to business. The President and Congress can now use the threat of a regulatory takeover as a means to pressure the opposition to pass their proposed legislation. Both the president and Barbara Boxer have both threatened to empower the EPA to impose draconian measures on the economy if their environmental initiates were to fail to pass in Congress. Another words either you vote with me or I’ll do it my way! When Barbara Boxer addressed her opposition in the Senate she sounded more like queen correcting some clumsy subjects than a representative of the people! What do you think?

James Madison and the definition of tyranny
James Madison and the definition of tyranny

The effort by the Obama administration to bypass Congress and enact cap and trade type regulations by administrative fiat is a good example of making our votes meaningless. The 2007 US Supreme Court decision to allow the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases opened the door for the administration to implement Cap and Trade by administrative fiat. Since then the EPA has been busy enacting job killing regulations on cars, trucks and now I understand cow flatulence also! Basically anything that emits CO2- People included. This regulatory push occurring in the midst of a nearly 10% unemployment!

When the rule of law is replaced with regulations it creates an environment conducive to corruption. The more complicated and lengthy the regulation is, the more power that is given over to the regulatory agency and the government. Obamacare is a prime example, where waivers can be issued to political allies for vague reasons given at the discretion of regulatory agency in charge; a disproportional amount of waivers given to the president’s big Union allies being a classic example.

End of life counseling provision in Obamacare was left out of the final bill by the Senate amid much protest and fear of the rationing of healthcare to the elderly. A few months ago they regulated in back into Medicare during annual wellness visits. The regulating agency was cautioned not to draw attention to this because it might not be noticed. So much for the president’s new transparency initiative!

The Time for Choosing

American’s have traditionally hated bureaucracy but of late have allowed the government to take on duties not prescribed by the Constitution. If we wish to remain a free people we must take charge of ourselves and regardless of noble intentions must refuse to empower government to take our own rightful responsibilities. We are now in the crossroads do we want to participate in the great American experiment of self- rule or do we want to be ruled by those who believe themselves to be our bettors, those that think they know how best to run our lives? It’s the time for choosing!


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    • profile image
      Author 5 years ago from upstate, NY

      Thanks for reading! These regulatory agencies are a key component of concentrated government power and a grave threat to our freedoms! Unfortunately its hard to prove the threat of regulations because one needs to be informed on so many levels and be able to see the big picture!

    • Bibowen profile image

      William R Bowen Jr 5 years ago

      Good overview of the regulatory state that is now upon us and the crossroads we now face.

    • profile image
      Author 5 years ago from upstate, NY

      Thank you for your gracious comments! You're so right that the arrogance of the government staggers your imagination! The only reason they have been able to get away with what their doing is the ignorance of American's in regards to their Constitution and the nature of freedom they enjoy!

      It news to me that they thought they owned the rainwater also, I guess their delusions of grandeur are nearly limitless. I would be busted out laughing or pitying these folks if they didn't hold the vast powers that they do!

    • lifeisviewtiful profile image

      Theo Vanderburgh 5 years ago from Merced, California

      Excellent hub! The EPA regulating greenhouse gasses is the worst. How dare they. Well, they have already claimed ownership over rainwater. And oxygen will be next haha! Thanks for the great read.

    • profile image
      Author 5 years ago from upstate, NY

      FSlovenec- Thanks for the visit and very glad to read your article on miracles!

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 5 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Another good article!

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      WannaB Writer- Your surely right, the real threat to the freedom in this country are from those on the left. The supposed tolerance that the left claim to have, seems to leave them unable to distinguish good from evil. I call this the "tyranny of tolerance".

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Wba, I agree. All this talk about the danger that Christians will try to take over and put a theocracy in place I believe is just to distract the American public from the real wolves howling at the door -- a dictatorship from the left or a an Islamic theocracy if our policies are more tolerant of Muslims than Christians. I don't think the left wants any theocracy at all, but if they continue the current policies, they just may get a Muslim one.

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      WannaB Writer- I get the same feeling as you do, that this may be the most important election in our life time.

      If these bureaucratic agencies are no cut back soon, our government may become a dictatorship. Thanks so much for the comments.

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I couldn't agree more. This next election may be our last chance to set things right. I hope we can elect a man of character who will keep his promises to get rid of some of these agencies, beginning with the EPA.

    • PoliticsNOW profile image

      PoliticsNOW 6 years ago from New York

      Thanks for the input wba.

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY


      There is some truth to what this guy says; the media did try to smear the Tea Party Movement, there were no doubt some who infiltrated the movement to subvert it, there always is in almost any movement. The Tea Party does have members throughout the political spectrum but mostly on the political right and the libertarians. But I think this guy has a bit of an overactive imagination to suggest this movement has been hi-jacked on a large scale by corporate interests. It would be difficult to hi-jack a movement so loosely connected and really not motivated by personal power of finances. To pull of such a large scale conspiracy, you would need the cooperation of so many people of differing interests. But I’ll have to admit this guy does tell a very interesting story! - Regards-WBA

    • PoliticsNOW profile image

      PoliticsNOW 6 years ago from New York

      I found this interesting. Just trying to find some common ground.

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      PoliticsNOW- Seems like we're having a hard time finding the common ground on this particular issue so we'll have to agree to disagree! Thanks for the comment!-WBA

    • PoliticsNOW profile image

      PoliticsNOW 6 years ago from New York

      Well you me and our kids will be paying China back for those tax cuts so were they really worth it? I am not seeing any JOBS right now. We borrowed 3 trillion you know.

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      This Bush tax cuts grew the economy and brought in more tax revenue. Employment rates were at historically high levels until 2008.

      Investors and businesses are rightfully not investing and hiring because of the insecure economic environment caused by huge intrusions into the private sector with new burdensome regulations ie.Obamacare and huge government bailouts. The investors rightly don’t want to lose their money!

      Investments by American multinational companies, in foreign markets is, largely focused on opening up new markets for American products and not to move American jobs and capital overseas.-WBA

    • PoliticsNOW profile image

      PoliticsNOW 6 years ago from New York

      I know everyone got them tax breaks but the very wealthy got them with the idea to create jobs. They did just in other countries

      the private sector is currently sitting on more than $3 trillion, in banks and corporate accounts, that is not being invested because of insufficient demand. Rather than the rampant inflation predicted by the tea party ideologues, we have seen no real inflation -- because demand is still insufficient to re-inflate the economy. The Barack Obama stimulus program was enough to prevent the complete deflation that might have led to a depression, but not enough to begin a full recovery in employment.

      My point is Bush tax cuts did NOT create a single job. We lost MILLIONS of them over the past 10 years we have hd them and WE, YOU and I, pay it back.

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      Politics NOW-

      Foundations, in general are kept to higher standards than most other sources. They have a reputation to uphold and could lose their tax free status for misinformation. Granted the best sources are primary sources when there available. I’m curious to know what sources you use and if you're sure that they are credible?

      The Bush tax cuts were for everybody not just the wealthy. In the last 80 years there were steep tax cuts under Presidents Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan and GWB. In every case these so called tax cuts for the wealthy led to higher government revenues and an increase in economic growth. The living standards for the poor were also improved because a rising tide lifts all boats.-WBA

    • PoliticsNOW profile image

      PoliticsNOW 6 years ago from New York

      You should really do some research on the heritage foundation. They are a corporate funded group founded to push RW lies. All that Obama is a socialists and marxist crap. Like the nutjob Glenn Beck pushes. Even Fox news gave himm DAS BOOT!

      I saw apicture the other day saying people should pay no taxes. Well the road they were on was paid by taxes. The traffic light an road signs next to them. Paid for by taxes. Just makes no sense? They learned that crap from the HERTIAGE foundation because the corporations that run it want to keep their bush tax cuts.

      There is no proof the ta cuts create jobs so they need to find a way to brainwash their voters into believing they will work. Proof is in the past 10 years of US paying for them and still NO JOBS!

      We are ruled by corporation that want no regulations so they can do what what they want. 2008 is an example of that.

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      drpastorcarlotta- Great to hear from you again! That's right, as dougrd said the government itself is causing the majority of the problems, so why should we expect them to have the solutions.-Regards and blessings-WBA

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 6 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      I agree with dougrd! GREAT Article!

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      James- Great to hear from you and thanks for your generous comments! You don’t often hear the mundane topic of regulations spoken of in revolutionary terms but the rise of the regulatory state is a revolution that poses a grave threat to freedom and prosperity in America. I like referencing the Heritage foundation because every jot and tittle of their information has a mountain of research behind it!

      Somebody said that when regulation replaces the rule of law, you create a government that resembles a sultan’s court where largesse is often granted in exchange for loyalty thus creating multiple classes of subjects at the whim of the court. Thanks again for stopping by!- Regards and blessings-WBA

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Your article is marvelous! I love it! Rarely has such great truth been spoken so well and so pithily at the exact time when it is needed most.

      Matthew Spalding is a genius! Your startling statistics should worry any American able to comprehend rational thought.

      You wrote: "When the rule of law is replaced with regulations it creates an environment conducive to corruption. The more complicated and lengthy the regulation is, the more power that is given over to the regulatory agency and the government."

      Fantastic! Brilliant! Thank you.

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      Rebecca E.

      Wow is right,volumes of complex rules only empowers government and puts the burden of proof on the citizens, another words your guilty until proven innocent!Thanks for stopping by.-WBA

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

      since I am not American I won't comment too much except for this over 80,000 pages? WOW....

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 6 years ago from South Africa

      We have the same kind of problem down here. I agree, refusing to empower government to take our own rightful responsibilities, is the solution. However, Government seems to be a blind and deaf animal.

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      Pastor Truth-

      There is some justification

      for your concerns; I too am concerned about incivility in the dialog between the opposing political camps in America. There’s a civil war brewing that is apt to hurt everyone and I believe that regardless of our beliefs we must at have a respect for the office that our leaders hold. No doubt the party in charge takes the most heat of criticism and even more so in difficult economic times. Sometimes people are just venting their frustrations but it can cross the line. Thank you for your comments!- WBA

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      Hi Thomas-

      It good to hear from my brilliant son! Thank you for your gracious comments! I haven’t thoroughly looked into the constitutional issues involving regulations but from what I understand the federal regulatory agencies have far exceeded their constitutional limits by taking on legislative authority and regulating the actions of individuals and small businesses that have nothing to do interstate commerce.

      These regulatory Czars have more power than cabinet members and have usurped authority from all three branches of government. Churchill was right that excessive regulations destroy equality before the law by ceding vast amounts governmental control to an unelected and unaccountable small elite group. The government is then in a position to grant favors for preferred political allies in exchange for their support.

      Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your keen insights! And don’t let those liberals poli-sci Profs distort the plain meaning of a constitution that was meant to be understood by common men! Regards and Blessing -Dad

    • profile image

      thomasjhs 6 years ago

      Excellently Well Written and Well Researched, Government Regulation is a clear violation of the ten amendment and and represents a breakdown in the founding fathers conception of checks and balances. I actually came across a quotes by Winston Churchill while reading an article the other days that is consistent with this . He said that "Ten thousand Regulations will destroy law" and this is exactly what has happened, Regulations have destroyed the framework of the laws that govern this country.

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      tom hellert-

      You got that right! We had better do something like yesterday, if we don't want folks like Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Al Gore running our lives! Are we really "good" if we don't bother to do anything about this threat to our liberties. Thank alot for stopping by! Regards and blessings-WBA

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 6 years ago from home

      Martin porter said it best "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". i say -"tyranny is evil incarnate."


    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY


      Being from West Virginia, you've felt the pain personally do to the actions of our enlightened crusaders in the EPA! Nice time to go on an environmental crusade, when we're in desperate need of energy and have almost 10% unemployment! Thank you for your kind words and insights!-WBA

    • SheriSapp profile image

      SheriSapp 6 years ago from West Virginia

      WOW!! Only the brainless lefties still think that government is the answer to any and all problems. The Obama EPA is crippling our economy further with every regulation they impose and driving up the cost of energy, which hurts everybody, when their EPA steps beyond the lawful limits they have. Great hub, I really enjoyed your points!!

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      dougrd-Excellent point, politics say thier going to work hard, maybe that's the problem, it would be better if they would just leave us alone. Government was never meant to solve our problems, most of the worlds misery is caused by do-gooders trying to fix problems with using the government!-WBA

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      breakfastpop- Thank you Pop for voting me up and your generous praise! There's nothing like pain to wake us up to what's been going on way to long! The silent majority is going to take this country back in 2012. Regards-WBA

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      dahoglund- Good point, this has been slowly building for years, eventually something has to give! For about the last 80 years our constitutional freedoms have eroded little by little, we're only noticing it now because we're feeling some pain.

      Your right, government control is tyranny, it starts very subtly as we give a little of our freedom in exchange for a little bit of false security from our government. This is called soft despotism because we've deluded ourselves into thinking we're free when if fact we have a master called "government"! Good to see you again dahoglund!-WBA

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY


      Thank you for your gracious comments! You may be right, its difficult to tell who's calling the shots, because these politicians owe thier jobs to special interests. If they want to have a political career they have to play the game no matter what they believe.

      Its rather chilling that the corruption in Washington has brought us to this point. Thanks again for stopping by!- WBA

    • dougrd profile image

      dougrd 6 years ago from South Beach, Oregon

      Just another reason why big government cannot solve our problems.....they are the CAUSE of our problems!!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 6 years ago

      Excellent piece of writing. I agree with American Romance, Americans who were once too wrapped up in their own lives are now expressing themselves. The silent majority that politicians just love are no longer silent and that is a really good thing. Up and awesome!

    • profile image
      Author 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      American Romance -

      Thanx so much for your comments! You're exactly right, The events of recent years have awoken Americans to the fact that something is very wrong. Massive transfers of wealth from hard working Americans to special interests, trampling of constitutional freedoms in Obamacare and a host of other government power grabs.

      The mocking of our christian roots by by a secular elite, rampant curruption and the list goes on! The good news is that Americans are finally realizing that complaining is for losers,talk is cheap, its time for action!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Very good. I myself have been noticing how much over regulating is going on. I fear it has been going on far longer than I ever suspected. I agree it is tyranny. Thanks for informing us about it.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      A very well written and researched hub. I appreciate your effort to educate.....well done. Governments have traditionally sought to exercise power, covertly, through regulatory means. It has been done, by both sides, for a very long time. The problem we appear to be facing now is the "special interest" groups have ascended to the halls of power and it's getting very difficult to tell who is really in charge!

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 6 years ago from America

      Americans are no longer sitting at home and complaining! They are out in force and we the conservatives will take back this great land and destroy the ideology of the extreme left!


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