- - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Power players in Washington, D.C., are out of touch. That’s what disgusted Americans tell the pollsters. What makes it worse is how often they’re also out of reach of the voters.

Yet to hear them tell it, untouchables like the Environmental Protection Agency are actually our BFFs — either Best Friends Forever or Bureaucrats Forever Fining us.

Disapproval of President Obama overwhelms his approval ratings, and Congress has to battle with cockroaches to see which of them is more disliked. Gallup reports the majority of us have been dissatisfied with the direction of the country in every poll since 2004, usually by overwhelming margins such as today’s 76 percent.


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Rather than being propelled by this into action, millions of Americans figure it does no good to get involved. What’s the use when Washington’s power players are out of reach by the voters, including:

Non-elected bureaucrats

Non-elected judges


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A president immune from voters he will never face again

Re-election rates for Congress that hover around 90 percent

A stealthy problem is that a lame-duck President Obama feels free to unleash the millions of executive branch bureaucrats, led by his hand-picked Cabinet secretaries, agency heads and an army of manipulative communications directors.

Let’s focus just on that bureaucracy.

National Journal reported during Mr. Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign: “Federal agencies are sitting on a pile of major health, environmental, and financial regulations that lobbyists, congressional staffers, and former administration officials say are being held back to avoid providing ammunition to Mitt Romney and other Republican critics.”

Now that regulations have resumed, White House tactics have changed to continue concealing the draconian impacts from the public. There is delay in revealing the worst abuses of power until after congressional elections this fall, but less than the presidential election delay. Most infamously, Mr. Obama’s expected plan to legalize 5 million illegal immigrants has been shifted from a Labor Day announcement, in hopes of insulating his fellow Democrats from voters’ wrath in November.

Another favorite tactic is to claim fewer regulations or executive orders have been issued. That ignores the simple truth that not all regulations have equal impact nor can impact be accurately measured by page count. Just as a $100 bill is the same size and color as a $1 bill doesn’t make them equal.

Regulators are notorious for calculating supposed benefits by using worse math than those who consider lottery tickets a good investment.

A Mercatus Institute study takes to task a new projection from Mr. Obama’s Office of Management and Budget that claims $863 billion in annual public benefits from 116 regulations issued during Mr. Obama’s time in office. But it’s a tunnel-vision view, because 37,022 regulations have been issued, and OMB reviewed just over 3,000 of them and then cites only 116 in its report.

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