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Our Elected Officials Don't Make Many Decisions - Nameless and Faceless Bureaucrats Do

Could the problem be that most of those rules aren't being made by Congress anymore?

The Capital is mirrored in the Capital Reflecting Pool on Capitol Hill in Washington early Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Did you know that the federal government now has the authority to shut down any business it chooses, whenever it chooses? And once a business is shut down, it must remain closed until the federal government can get around to holding a hearing on its case. In effect, these businesses will be considered guilty until they are given an opportunity to prove themselves innocent.

Wouldn’t you have loved to hear the debate in Congress over a serious issue like this so you could see how your representatives justified such an extraordinarily dangerous growth in federal power?

Sadly, that wasn’t possible because this isn’t a law that was enacted by Congress. It’s a regulation created by an executive agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

You read that correctly. The CFPB simply decided to grant itself this power. Wouldn’t it be great if you could grant yourself new powers like that at your job? The possibilities are endless!

“No worries, boss. I just granted myself the authority to search through your personal e-mails.”

The Capital is mirrored in the Capital Reflecting Pool on Capitol Hill in Washington early Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/J. David Ake) The Capital is mirrored in the Capital Reflecting Pool on Capitol Hill in Washington early Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

What is important for every American to understand is that a large majority of the rules that dictate how you live your life are no longer passed by Congress. Instead, they are created by unelected bureaucrats in executive agencies. If you aren’t familiar with executive agencies, they are the seemingly endless list of bureaucracies that you read about in the news all the time like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The fact that these agencies are making rules that impact how you live your life may seem unconstitutional - and it is - but I will have to address that issue in a future post.

For now, let’s focus on whether or not this method of law-making is a good idea. Whenever I’ve seen anyone express concerns about executive agencies having the power to create regulations, the most common response I’ve seen is, “It’s not like these agencies are just making regulations on their own. Congress still has oversight!”

But as I explained in my latest Constitution Revolution segment (which you can hear live every Saturday on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show), the idea of Congressional oversight is completely unrealistic:

Of course, the Internal Revenue Service is far from the only agency that refuses to cooperate with Congress.

Last week several members of Congress tried to visit the facilities where some of the tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children are currently being housed to ensure that the conditions were humane. But HHS responded with a list of what our representatives would be allowed to see and what they would be allowed to do while they were there.

It’s pretty darn tough for Congress to do any kind of effective oversight when executive agencies get to decide under what conditions they are willing to comply with an investigation.

Do you honestly believe that the people who run HHS are willingly going to allow members of Congress to see anything that would prove the agency is housing these children in filthy conditions or treating them inhumanely?

Of course, Congress is expected to do much more oversight than just investigate possible wrongdoing. It is also supposedly supervising the staggering number of regulations that executive agencies turn out every year.

To give you an idea of how big that number is, Obamacare was passed in 2010 and it has already led to the creation of over 11,000 pages of new regulations. That’s just the total for one law; imagine how many are being created when you include the rest of the federal bureaucracy.

Do you think any members of Congress, or even their staffs, are sitting on Capitol Hill diligently going through those regulations to make sure that they’re acceptable? Of course not. They don’t even bother to read the bills that are passed by Congress!

If our representatives can’t trouble themselves to understand the legislation that they are actually voting on, it’s unrealistic to believe that they are doing any better with the avalanche of federal regulations that is being created by executive agencies.

Getty Images. Getty Images.

It’s important to consider what that means for you personally. You didn’t have the opportunity to vote for any of the bureaucrats who are creating these regulations. So these people are not accountable to you. And as we saw clearly displayed during the IRS investigations, they don’t feel like they should have to answer to Congress either.

That means that you have virtually no voice in the laws that govern how you live your life. You have to ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the rules of this country being created by faceless bureaucrats who you’ve never heard of, who you didn’t vote for, and who are completely unaccountable to you.

After all, they just granted themselves the power to shut down any business in the country and chances are you read about it for the first time in this article. What else could these executive agencies be doing that you don’t even know about?

Chad Kent is an author and speaker with a unique style that makes the Constitution simple and fun. Listen to Chad every Saturday during The Chris Salcedo Show on TheBlaze Radio and visit his web site at www.ChadKentSpeaks.com.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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