It Should Not Even Exist

Quote of the Day

Recently, the Secretary of Health and Human Services advocated for gun violence to be declared a public health emergency to grant HHS power to restrict Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.  The Department of Health and Human Services was never intended to implement gun control of any kind.

Mike Braun
US Senator from Indiana
July 21, 2023
Senator Braun’s offers amendment to protect Second Amendment from “national emergency declaration” gun control

It goes deeper than that. The Department of Health and Human Services was never intended to exist. There is no mention of it or the “services” it provides in the U.S Constitution.

But, I suppose, limiting its scope should be considered a good thing.


3 thoughts on “It Should Not Even Exist

  1. A fascinating look into this sort of thing is the novel “Hope” by Zelman and Smith.

    You’re quite right, and not just about HHS. As one senior Congressman admitted on tape some years ago: “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the Federal government has got anything to do with most of the stuff that we do.” — James Clyburn (D-SC).

    The majority of cabinet departments have no Constitutional authority for their existence whatsoever. The same goes, by definition, for every single so-called “independent agency”. There are a few departments that do have Constitutional authority: DoD, State, Treasury, Commerce. I think that’s about it. And in each case, only a few percent of what they currently do is legal. For example, in the case of Commerce, NIST and USPTO are, but not much else. Conversely, the FBI is a perfect example of an agency under a somewhat-valid cabinet department that has no Constitutional validity.

  2. “It should not even existed”
    Well now that’s a f–k’in iceberg! (Seems appropriate considering were on the societal equivalent of the Titanic.) And we ain’t just talking government agencies here either.

  3. For what it’s worth, there’s tremendous value to be found by herding the fed dot gov back into its Constitutional corral.

    It has been pointed out that were all executive branch agencies, including DOD, to be shut down completely and zeroed out the deficit would still climb because of entitlements – Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc.

    That’s certainly true, and dealing with the entitlements is an issue we must face or it will destroy us, but that’s a slightly separate, parallel battle – and very much one rooted in emotion as well as economics – from “what does the Constitution authorize the federal government to engage in.”

    Executive branch agencies levy tremendous expense, not just by funding their operating budget – were that their greatest expense we could probably deal with it – but in follow-on costs: imposing regulations, obfuscating results procedures, standard bureaucratic delays causing late and inadequate response, taking actions that require expensive legal response by citizens, etc.

    Not to mention how much federal tax money is routed to “favored causes” by bureaucrats socially, and politically, sensitive to the Art of Bureaucratic Begging; the great majority of those monies go to Leftist organizations and causes, because no tonly are such things socially and politically favored, the Left has become masterful in rent-seeking behavior to procure such funds.

    The Constitution stipulates “all laws shall originate in Congress;” were that premise followed exactly, Congress could enact the same inane bureaucratic procedures and wasteful spending executive branch agencies now specialize in. Congress, however, unlike executive branch agencies, has to face the citizens every two years, and as written, state legislatures (used to) have responsibility for controlling how they interface with the federal government (the 17th Amendment is an abomination in dire need of repeal, which is a different, but no less critical, parallel concern).

    Back in its Constitutional Corral the federal government would, or should, fit within a handful of city blocks (whether those blocks should be in Washington, D.C., or elsewhere, closer to the citizenry, is a different, but no less important, issue). Would then the lobbying industry be driven to state capitals? Absolutely, but there the stakes are smaller, and as it becoming obvious after the Bruen SCOTUS decision, some states are considerably more directly connected, and responsive, to, both the law and the citizens than others. We are, after all, “The United States of America,” not “America with a huge federal government and fifty insignificant political and economic jurisdictions.” Should one state, or a few, decide to embark on a cruise into uncharted economic or social waters, they would have to do it alone, without any assistance from a federal backstop to cover their missteps and errors, and based on what we’re seeing from California and the Northeast, Emigration of the Productive would, eventually, become a burden too great to suffer; prosperity, and its opposite, offer benefit and penalty, each of which apply different economic, and consequent political prices, per von Mises, Friedman, Smith and others. As the John Wayne poster proclaims, “Life is tough; it’s tougher when you’re stupid.”

    In our time, a Brave New World, indeed; very much worth accomplishing.

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