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February 25, 2011

Americans live under a regime of regulation without representation. In the modern regulatory state, elected officials enact broad regulatory statutes, such as the Clean Air Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, or the Telecommunications Act. However, Congress and the president then delegate to non-elected officials the tasks not only of developing and proposing but also of enacting the implementing rules.Administrative agencies such as EPA end up wielding powers that the Constitution reserves to Congress. Article I, Sec. 1 of the Constitution vests “all legislative powers” in the Congress of the United States, and Article I, Sec. 8 gives to Congress the power to lay and collect taxes. Agencies have no constitutional authority to make law or raise taxes. Yet they issue thousands of regulations each year, all having the force and effect of law, and many functioning as implicit taxes that increase the cost of goods and services.


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