A Closer Look at Vivek Ramaswamy’s Bold Plan to Take Down the Administrative State

President Calvin Coolidge once said, “unless bureaucracy is constantly resisted it breaks down representative government and overwhelms democracy.”

GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy wants to pick up where old Silent Cal, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump left off, proposing a plan to halve the size of the federal administrative state in his first year in office — should he be elected.

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Republicans’ Chief House Investigator Vows to Take On Bureaucracy, Starting with Vaccine Royalties

The congressman who would lead the most powerful investigative committee in the House if Republicans win the midterms is sending an unmistakable advance warning to the permanent federal bureaucracy: It’s time to “get rid of some of these useless bureaucrats who are just a drain on the American taxpayer.”

Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, the ranking Republicans on the House Oversight Committee, told Just the News on Thursday evening his top three investigative priorities include Biden family corruption, the insecure southern border and the origins and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Commentary: It’s Time to Dismantle the Dysfunctional, Self-Serving, Gluttonous Company Town That Is D.C.

Gertrude Stein famously warned that it was important to know how far to go when going too far.

It pains me to admit that Democrats seem to have a far better sense of all that than do Republicans. Perhaps it’s because Democrats have a visceral appreciation of William Hazlitt’s observation that “those who lack delicacy hold us in their power.” The Democrats, that is to say, long ago became expert at the game of holding their opponents to standards that they themselves violate not just with impunity but with ostentatious glee.

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Analysis: States Where Unelected Bureaucrats Took over Redistricting Experienced Difficulties

In Michigan, the state’s civil rights agency said proposed maps of legislative districts “do not measure up to the requirements of the law.” In Pennsylvania, Republican lawmakers complained about an “extreme partisan gerrymander.” And in Virginia, incumbents and potential challengers scrambled to work with proposed district maps.

In theory, new bureaucracies to draw up maps for congressional and legislative districts were supposed to save democracy from politics and block the practice of gerrymandering.

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Commentary: Immortalizing Bureaucracy

Just as the infamous Dred Scott case in 1857 would have extended slavery throughout America, so Thursday’s decision in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California threatens to make the machinations of bureaucratic government supreme and unrepealable.

Chief Justice John Roberts’ 5-4 court opinion strengthens the grip of the administrative state – the interlocking network of bureaucracy and political correctness – over the democratically elected branches that are supposed to make us a nation of self-governing citizens.

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Commentary: A History of the Deep State

Every presidential administration finds some degree of internal resistance. That which has confronted the Trump Administration, however, seems to be the most active and aggressive ever. From “Anonymous”, to a record number of leakers, to physically hiding documents from the President, a large and active bureaucratic resistance is at work to stymie many of the Executive branch’s goals. Everything from secret military plans to embarrassing aspects of daily life in White House has been made public.

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Commentary: Bureaucratic Rule by What Right?

Americans are just beginning to realize that opposition to Donald Trump is the least explanation for what bureaucrats, corporate officials and media magnates have been doing to negate the outcome of the 2016 election. Denying that government by the people is the only legitimate form of rule, they are asserting that legitimate rule flows from right-minded persons in the country’s institutions, elections notwithstanding. The following shows that this assertion flows merely from our ruling class’s will to power.

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Commentary: The Rise of Administrative Law Over Legislative Law

by William Haupt III   “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” – Abraham Lincoln Administrative law is the procedure of creating laws by bureaucratic bodies in our municipal, state and federal governments. It is “mandated law,” made by appointed officials who have been given authority to make decisions for us without our consent. It is illegitimate law being forced upon us with no regard for constitutional protocol. This capricious practice dilutes the fundamental concept of U.S. republicanism. James Madison, a supporter of a powerful federal government, reminded us, “Federal power left unchecked would silently abridge our freedom more than violent usurpations.” Our Constitution clearly defines who is responsible for making laws. “All laws are to be written and passed by representatives approved by the people in federal and local government.” It is difficult to fathom Congress freely delegates powers to administrative agencies that grant them adroitness to rule our lives. How can our Constitution delegate us with an autocratic right, yet allow men we elect and agencies the government invents claim authority over us under the penalty of law? How…

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Commentary: When Bureaucracy Replaces Humanity

by Karl Notturno   I got a letter last week informing me that my catastrophic health care insurance was terminated. The plan was terminated because of a technical glitch. Instead of billing the credit card I had designated as my primary payment option, my healthcare provider billed an old and deactivated card. A declined payment of $10.42 (to supplement an early payment due to rising premiums) and another for $127.49 later, I lost my coverage, long before I realized there was anything wrong. If this happened in a different industry, I likely would not have had any problems. I would have called the company and, after a short conversation and the successful payment of my outstanding premiums, I would have had my insurance back. But the American healthcare industry is not just any industry. It is an industry that is controlled, to varying degrees, by federal, state, and local governments. When I called my provider, the representative was unable to fix my problem because local government regulations do not allow individuals to sign up for health insurance outside of an enrollment window. My provider patched me through to DC Health Link, a District of Columbia government agency—set up in accordance…

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Book Review: ‘Unmasking the Administrative State’ is the The Indispensable Guide to the Matrix

by Glenn Ellmers   You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about? ~ Morpheus, “The Matrix” Pop culture references go stale pretty quickly, so it’s usually best to avoid them. But when a movie made 20 years ago reveals a genuinely interesting and important truth, it’s worth bending the rule. In 2016, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States by millions of people who knew – or sensed – that something in American political life was deeply wrong or broken; and that Donald Trump sensed this as well and wanted to do something about it. Most of these voters couldn’t fully articulate what was wrong (neither in many cases could Trump!), but they had begun to doubt the essential truth of what they were being told. The official narrative about our government, our public life, and our culture – the story told by Washington, Hollywood, Wall Street, and Harvard – was not quite a lie, perhaps, but many had become…

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The Same Successful Reforms From the ‘VA Accountability Act’ Could Apply to Rest of Government if MERIT Act Passes

Barry Loudermilk, David Perdue

By Natalia Castro   Labor Day – coming up on September 3rd – presents a pivotal opportunity for Members of Congress. As members of the House return from recess and just eight weeks before midterms, representatives can show their support for American workers by passing bipartisan civil service reform. In the first year of this Congress, passing bipartisan Veterans Affairs legislation did not just rally public support; it improved the agency significantly. Passing the MERIT Act can do the same for the rest of the federal workforce, setting Congress on a strong trajectory for the second half of Trump’s first term. The VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act passed with such overwhelming support it only required a voice vote in the Senate. In the House, it passed 368-55. Following the passage of this legislation, which provides management with expedited removal processes for poor performing employees, firings within the agency rose by 26 percent. This VA reform represented a bipartisan achievement that was praised across the aisle. Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester helped push the bill alongside Florida Republican Marco Rubio. At the time, Tester explained, “This bill will crack down on bad employees who jeopardize veterans’ health care while also protecting the hardworking folks…

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White House to Propose Education, Labor Department Merger, Reports Say

Departments of Education and Labor

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to propose a merger of the Education and Labor departments, according to several media reports. The plan, which could be announced as early as Thursday, would be part of a broad overhaul of the federal government with the goal of merging duplicative programs and eliminating others the administration considers unnecessary. The proposal, first reported by Education Week, would allow the administration to concentrate vocational training programs in one place. The plan was developed in response to a directive Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney issued to federal agency leaders more than a year ago. The new combined agency would require congressional approval. Republican lawmakers have long desired to eliminate the Education Department since its creation in 1980 by president Jimmy Carter. Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have also expressed similar sentiments. A House bill in 1995 proposing the merger of agencies to place K-12 schools and vocational training programs together failed to win approval.               VOA News

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The Shrinking of the Administrative State

Washington DC

by Joseph Sunde   In just the last year, the regulatory apparatus of the federal government has endured a range of healthy threats and corrections. Approximately 1,579 regulatory actions have been withdrawn or delayed, according to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and that wave is set to continue. “Agencies plan to finalize three deregulatory actions for every new regulatory action” this fiscal year, a recent report noted. “We’re here today for one single reason,” said President Trump said last December, holding a pair of scissors aside a symbolic mountain of papers: “to cut the red tape of regulation.” It’s a welcome development for many businesses, who have struggled amid a growing string of onerous and arbitrary rules and measures. But it’s also a movement that could help restore a bit of hope for republican democracy—taking power away from an unelected, unaccountable regulatory regime and shifting it back to Congress and its constitutions. As the Hoover Institution’s Adam J. White explains in a recent PolicyEd video, the administrative state has, up until now, largely shielded itself from the eyes and ears of the people it’s supposed to serve: As we regulate more economic activity, these federal agencies take an ever larger role in day-to-day governance. The…

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EPA Chief Moves to Improve the Agency’s Onerous Permitting Process Through Civil Service Reforms

Scott Pruitt

By Natalia Castro   The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been plagued with inefficiency for years. The Partnership for Public Service has ranked the EPA 22 out of 23 ineffective leadership for a mid-sized agency for the last two years in a row. The Resource for the Future, an environmental, energy, and natural resource research institution, found that the average EPA permit process takes 420 days to complete. But now, under Administrator Scott Pruitt, the EPA is committed to fixing itself. Pruitt is taking the necessary steps to increase accountability and set clear guidelines for action. The EPA has already established over 400 metrics across all EPA programs and regional office that track monthly goals, created standardized methods of communicating monthly targets, integrated monthly business reviews for all senior leaders to review their office’s performance, and initiated new employee training. Pruitt is also looking to hold the career employees at the agency accountable. The newly created Office of Continuous Improvement (OCI) will ensure the policies that work in some areas of the department are implemented across the agency, and hopefully, act as a model for other agencies. In a May 14, 2018 press briefing, EPA Chief Operating Officer Henry Darwin explains, the purpose of the…

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Commentary: The Deadly Incompetence of the FDA

by Dan Mitchell   I routinely grouse about the heavy economic cost of red tape. I’ve also highlighted agencies (such as the EEOC) that seem especially prone to senseless regulations. And I’ve explained why private regulation actually is a very effective way of promoting health and safety. Today, let’s get specific and look at the Food and Drug Administration. This bureaucracy ostensibly is supposed to protect us by making sure drugs and medical devices are safe and effective before getting approval, which seems like it might be a reasonable role for government. But the FDA routinely does really foolish things that undermine public health. The likely reason is that the bureaucracy has a bad incentive structure. As Professor Alex Tabarrok has explained. …the FDA has an incentive to delay the introduction of new drugs because approving a bad drug (Type I error) has more severe consequences for the FDA than does failing to approve a good drug (Type II error). In the former case at least some victims are identifiable and the New York Times writes stories about them and how they died because the FDA failed. In the latter case, when the FDA fails to approve a good drug, people die but the bodies are buried in an invisible…

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