Punchinello’s Chronicles

February 13, 2009

Who Really Controls your Life?

Filed under: Surely a Jest? — Punchinello @ 9:00 am
Tags: , ,

Not too long ago, I got curious about these Executive Orders the president is signing or overturning. How do they happen, under what authority, and what happens to me when a president signs such an order? I was stunned to discover that the president can do pretty much damn-well whatever the hell he or she wants to do, with only the US Supreme Court standing in the way.

Well, that sure didn’t sound good. So then I got to thinking about the tons of regulations we have to deal with every day. How do THOSE happen?

Here’s a fascinating article about the rules involved in making the rules.

Federal Regulations: Laws Behind the Acts

First, Congress passes a law designed to address a social or economic need or problem. The appropriate regulatory agency then create regulations necessary to implement the law. For example, the Food and Drug Administration creates its regulations under the authority of the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act, the Controlled Substances Act and several other acts created by Congress over the years. Acts such as these are known as “enabling legislation,” because the literally enable the regulatory agencies to create the regulations required to administer enforce them.

The “Rules” of Rulemaking: Regulatory agencies create regulations according to rules and processes defined by another law known as the Administration Procedure Act (APA).


Here in Illinois, we have something called the Tollway Commission, created by an act of Illinois congress in 1953. That act, upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court, provides for the appointment of 11 members of the commission. The commission then can do pretty much anything it feels like doing, including setting up new toll roads, determining the toll amounts, making contracts, spending money, and so forth.

None of these commissioners is elected, and the Commission is under no public control or management whatsoever.

A whole lot of foolish dreamers here in America believe that they have some nominal say in the government. They believe that a democracy means that “majority rules.” They don’t even think about a “representative republic.” And so they vote periodically, assuming that when we hear about a new “law” passed through Congress that “we, the people” are voting on our own lives.

Too bad, so sad…it’s just a dream.

Did you agree not only to the members of Congress who formulated the laws by which you live, but also with the regulations passed by the ensuing agencies? Of course you didn’t! And yet, if you don’t obey those regulations you could end up in jail!

Good stuff, Maynard! You and I haven’t got squat when it comes to managing our own lives! All we have is the vague hope that the politicians to whom we’ve granted nearly absolute control over our lives are well-intentioned, moral, virtuous representatives.

Okay, you can get up off the floor now. C’mon…quit laughing! They’re not THAT far off the mark are they? I mean, hey really; if they were corrupt evil-doers and wanted to rob us blind the Constitution would step in to stop them, right? Wouldn’t it?

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