Government by Waiver: the Breakdown of Public Administration

Richard Epstein
The Libertarian

The past year has marked the passage of the two most massive legislative reforms in the history of American politics: ObamaCare for health care and Dodd-Frank for the financial sector.  Their size and complexity dwarf those of any New Deal legislation.

These new laws require a stunning acceleration of the longstanding practice of relying on delegated authority to implement statutory commands.  According to its New Deal champions, this welcome division of authority could cure the manifold defects of a market economy by combining the best of democratic politics with the best of administrative expertise.  Under the new division of labor, the political branches of government set the broad direction of legislative reform, and then trust skilled administrative agencies to turn general directives into specific commands.

The sheer magnitude of the new legislative ventures has thrown this model–which, in truth, has never worked well–into disarray…

…Economically, the high fixed costs of administrative compliance drive small firms to seek takeover by powerful larger firms whose deeper purses and better political contacts help them weather the storm.  The palpable irony is that the same health care experts who once touted ObamaCare now fear that the new combinations will make health care more monopolistic, raising prices while cutting costs.  But no one can expect private firms to stand still in the face of those mortal threats.  Better a concentrated industry than a decimated one.

Squads of health care experts and political pundits envisioned a Pax Obama for heath care once the political hubbub quieted down. It won’t happen.  Without major steps to overhaul or repeal ObamaCare, government by waiver will become standard operating procedure to the detriment of us all.

Read the entire article at

H/T Ace of Spades HQ

…I’m not telling anyone here anything they didn’t know, but clearly this bill not only benefits Big Business, who has the extra cash laying around to comply with such laws, but the waiver system also gives them a competative advantage.

The only companies receiving waivers are those with lobbying power and political influence. Obamacare, like almost every other law passed by congress, continues to help the big and established companies at the expense of the small and start up companies. And these people wonder why unemployment is still hovering at 10%.

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