OP-ED: US SUPREME COURT REINS IN UNACCOUNTABLE AGENCIES

by Steve Levy

The United States Supreme Court’s decisions on abortion and gun control over the last few weeks has prompted significant commentary from the political class, and at the workplace water cooler. The court's decision last week limiting the authority of deep state agencies to promulgate policy in place of Congress was much less prominent, yet will have a huge positive effect on our pocketbooks and the nation's economic health.

A few months ago, my colleagues and I at the Center for Cost Effective Government issued a statement about the danger of unilateral decisions made by individuals within the Environmental Protection Agency to impose significant additional regulations on individuals and businesses.

The new EPA requirements were lauded by climate change advocates and the media, but they meant manufacturers would have to reconfigure construction of vehicles to meet still stiffer emission standards.

What was rarely noted in the positive articles about the mandate was that it would add over $3,800 to the average person's purchase of a vehicle.

While reasonable people could disagree on the cost/benefit analysis of the measure, we believe that it is extraordinarily dangerous to leave that kind of power in the hands of a single bureaucrat or group of bureaucrats - unaccountable to the public.

If advocates believe this EPA regulation was so needed, then why not get Congress to approve the new regulation into law, or at least to authorize the agency to have the discretion to change it ?

While some regulations promote positive public policy, over-regulation can stunt our competitiveness, destroy jobs, and lead to inflation and economic stagnation. That’s why it is ill-advised to vest such awesome power to regulate in the hands of a few elite bureaucrats within the deep state.

The High Court’s decision last week is a win for democracy in that such decisions will be left to the people’s representatives.