Small Business vs. the 4th Branch of Government

In the waning days of Obama’s presidency, Sam Batkins of the American Action Forum brought to our attention the record number of so-called “midnight regulations” being implemented by administrative agencies like the EPA. This stealthy (and costly) form of executive lawmaking bypasses the traditional legislative process and erodes the checks and balances so vital to a free republic. This Sunday, Luke Wake (a Staff Attorney for the National Federation of Independent Business) will take us under the hood of the emerging “Fourth Branch” of government to inspect its inner workings. Wake’s message is simple and should be uncontroversial: giving the public a voice is a moral imperative of a liberal democratic system. Whereas the legislature consists of elected officials engaged in open debate, administrative agencies are made up of unelected bureaucrats who can quietly alter the interpretations of laws without the usual required period of public notice-and-comment. As usual, it’s small businesses who take the greatest hit in their struggles with Kafkaesque bureaucracy. The result: alienation, existential anxiety, and absurdity. Bob and Luke sort through it all, and take calls, on the show of ideas, not attitude.