Is the Deep State real?

September 26, 2023

Can we demonstrate that the Deep State is real, and if so what can we do to combat it?

Peter Jacobson at FEE reports on a fascinating study about the Deep State…

Researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research report the following results:

  • 50% of bureaucrats from 1997 to 2019 were Democrats
  • 32% were Republicans in 1997 and that number fell to 26% in 2019
  • The percentage of Democrats increases for the higher positions
  • Highly educated Democrats seek bureaucratic jobs more often than highly educated Republicans
  • Republicans leave bureaucratic employment more often than Democrats
  • The political alignment of the bureaucracy doesn’t change much when a new president is elected

Needless to say, the representation of libertarians in the bureaucracy is likely to be vanishingly small. In other words…

The bureaucracy is strongly left-leaning!

But does this imbalance affect policy? You bet it does! For one thing…

The study finds that government projects tend to be more expensive when the bureaucrats who run them are of a different party than the president. But the problem is likely worse than that…

I think bureaucrats tend to promote their own policy preferences even when the president wants something else, or when the enabling legislation Congress passed had a different intent.

You could probably find numerous examples just by following the news closely. And it’s probably been happening since the advent of the administrative state during the Progressive Era.

I just encountered an especially egregious example while reading JFK and Vietnam by John Newman. Newman makes a compelling case that the CIA was running its own contrary foreign policy in Southeast Asia during the Kennedy administration. And we all know how that ended up. But…

How much of this bureaucratic policy setting is visible to people?

Probably very little. The President doesn’t have the time or ability to look into all the dark corners of the mega-state. And Congress is too busy passing new bills to worry much about the outcomes of old legislation. This means that most of what the bureaucracy does is UNSEEN!

This is where the DEEP aspect of the Deep State comes in…

The real workings of government are unknown even by the President and Congress, let alone the American taxpayer.

What can we do about this?

It would help a lot to make The State smaller. Our Read the Bills Act and One Subject at a Time Act could both be a big step in that direction.

But we have another bill that would strike more directly at the Deep State, in a way no supposed “swamp drainers” ever have.

The Write the Laws Act

If no bureaucratic regulation can be enforced without first being read and approved by Congress, then the Deep State suddenly becomes a lot shallower, much more visible, and far less secret. This is exactly what our Write the Laws Act would accomplish. If you want this then please help us…

Pass the Write the Laws Act

If you’ve already signed up to be one of The 300 for Write the Laws, then…

Please contribute or start a monthly pledge.

Set your own agenda,

Perry Willis, Co-founder
Agenda Setters by Downsize DC

Today’s Action: Pass the Write the Laws Act


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