The real culprits.
Those who are righteously put out with President Biden might fail to recognize who it is they’re really mad at. As wrong as he is on just about everything, as captured as he is by the far-left loons in his party, Biden isn’t the real problem.
The real problem starts more than a century ago in 1913. Woodrow Wilson is regarded by many presidential scholars as the first “progressive” president. Among the ideas advanced by Wilson was that of a “living constitution.” Living constitution proponents believe that rather than being bound by its original text, the Constitution adapts to changing societal circumstances without having to be amended.
Wilson further believed that the power of the federal government should reside in the hands of an expert class employed by government to make American life better. He warped the Constitution accordingly and got away with it.
Twelve years after Wilson left office, Franklin Roosevelt came along and used the now flexible Constitution, along with the exigent economic circumstances attendant to the Great Depression, to advance his “New Deal” programs. The New Deal created a long list of “alphabet soup” federal agencies and programs and greatly expanded the role of the federal government in the economic and social affairs of the nation. Among the legacies of the New Deal are Social Security, Fannie Mae, the National Labor Relations Board, the FDIC and the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Thirty years after FDR, Lyndon Johnson further entrenched the administrative state via his Great Society agenda. The Great Society gave us Medicare, Medicaid and a massively expanded federal welfare apparatus. The bureaucracies created or expanded to support these programs dramatically expanded the size, scope and authority of the federal government.
Here in 2023, more than a century after Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration of progressivism in the United States, the permanent federal bureaucracy is effectively a government unto itself, functionally detached from accountability to either the Congress or the people. At 2.2 million employees, the federal government is by far the largest U.S. employer, eclipsing the next-closest Wal-Mart by nearly double.
The question is thus raised, who is in charge? Is it us, via our elected representatives in Congress? Is it the president, via his Constitutional role as head of the executive branch? Or is it the permanent federal bureaucracy, which never faces the voters and is governed by civil service rules that make it close to impossible to fire a federal employee?
To address that question, let’s consider the vaunted Lord Dr. Anthony Fauci, the just-retired head of the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases and for nearly three years the very face of the mandates, strictures and rules of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Take a look at how one federal employee – the highest paid employee on the federal payroll as it happens – one man who was never elected and who held his job under six presidents – take a look at a single individual who effectively took unquestioned control over the largest economy in the world, and you’ll have your answer.