Beyond the Cusp

August 9, 2007

The Sources of Semi-Laws

Filed under: Uncategorized — qwertster @ 4:22 PM

Often we hear that all the laws, especially the Federal variety, are too binding and hurtful to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This feeling often hits the small businessman more than the rest of us, but it is a universal problem. But in many cases it is not the laws as much as it is regulations and requirements put in place by government agencies. Some of these agencies are OSHA, HHS, IRS, Department of Labor, and other departments and a plethora of sub-agencies hidden deep in the bowels of these numerous departments.

What makes much of this so frustrating is the lack of a face or person to hold accountable for the maze of regulations. When you look for the source you find that no bill was passed enacting these rules and regulations, no petition by the people empowered these laws and regulations, and there seems to be this vast faceless tangle of government from which these rules and regulations just pour forth day in and day out. Probably the most frequently met section of these rules and regulations comes from the friendly confines of the IRS. Each year the rules are changed is some way, either by totally rewriting a section of tax code or maybe just a decision to put more emphasis on one regulation while not pursuing another as fervently. Imagine the frustration this places on the small businessman who may have to change their bookkeeping and other operational procedures every quarter. Then there are the local codes such as fire codes which are changed on occasion often without any general notice of the new requirements until the inspector is writing up your delinquencies and fines. This problem is vastly beyond the ability of the normal person to track.

Many of us blame the Congress and/or the President for the overabundance of regulation. Where they do hold the blame as they did set up the different bureaucracies from which these rules and regulations pour out. They did vote to expand or add to the scope and power of these different agencies. But the most profound expansion comes from each agency needing to establish the necessity of the agency or department so they can get an increase in their budget monies and thus employ more people to make more regulations and grow as if they were a living organism. This is why we need to find some way to rein in the ability of the departments and agencies from indiscriminately adding more and more regulations and growing into an unyielding monstrosity. After ending the free reign of these regulation generators, we can then work on reducing the sheer number of regulations into something more manageable.

This is one area of government that had been left unchallenged by our politicians as if the agencies were some sacred temples. This needs to change. One thought I had on how to address this possibly destructive situation. It would entail that each new regulation be approved by Congress and signed by the President and made into coded law. Through this procedure perhaps a public review and a full vetting of the consequences could be allowed. Currently there is almost no limit on the power of these unelected bureaucrats. We absolutely must bring these unelected, faceless, nameless, amorphous bureaucrats to pay homage to the electorate by having their ideas vetted in the light of day. We can no longer afford to have a dark unobservable entity of the government making up rules and regulations that affect us the public, sometimes drastically. Simply making Congress and the President review these rules and regulations before they are enacted, adding a level of inspection that is so very needed. If they will have the same force of law as any legislation that passes through Congress and is signed by the President, then they should be required to be subjected to the same treatment and public viewing. Until then we will have more and more of these non-law laws imposed on our quickly shrinking freedoms. Time has come to stop the madness.

Beyond the Cusp

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