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Today's Test Question

In a post at the blog of the Competitive Enterprise Institute last month, Clyde Wayne Crews, Vice President for Policy, says, "nobody can say with complete authority exactly how many federal agencies exist." Do know how the answer?

As Bill Clinton once said, it depends on the meaning of "is."

Here are six possible answers with the sources cited by Crews, and the number of agencies according to each source:

  • Unified Agenda -- 60
  • Administrative Conference of the United States -- 115
  • FOIA.gov (at Department of Justice) -- 252
  • United States Government Manual -- 316
  • Federal Register Index -- 257
  • Regulations.gov -- 89

In conclusion, Crews wrote:

"If nobody knows how many agencies exist whose decrees we must abide, that means we don’t know how many people work for the government (let alone contractors making a living from taxpayers) nor know how many rules there are. But even when we isolate a given, knowable agency, the rise of “regulatory dark matter” may make it hard to tell exactly what is and is not a rule.

"The sprawling bureaucracy, plus growing concern that issuing a rule may not even be necessary for agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to impose their will on the public calls out for congressional response."

In a Growls post on March 30, 2014, that compared Reaganomics and Obamanomics, we cited an op-ed by Vance Ginn, who wrote, "Contrary to President Obama's prescription of more government spending and regulation, President Reagan diagnosed government as the problem and prescribed a plan of lowering tax rates and reducing regulations to free firms and workers from disincentives to invest and work."

We encourage all Growls readers to express their outrage about the regulatory state to their members of Congress. Find out what your Congress Critter is doing to clear out the regulatory clutter. Contact information is available at Thomas (use left-hand column). Taxpayers living in Virginia's Arlington County, can contact:

  • Senator Mark Warner (D) -  write to him or call (202) 224-2023
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-4024
  • Representative Don Beyer (D) -- write to him or call (202) 225-4376

Ask for a written response, and tell them ACTA sent you.

If you don't have the Competitive Enterprise Institute bookmarked, their homepage is here.

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