The Main Business Of The Government Is Promoting Its Own Growth

On Monday May 18 the New York Times had an article on government self-promotion that has gotten at least some attention.  The article is "Critics Hear E.P.A.'s Voice in 'Public Comments,'" by Eric Lipton and Coral Davenport.

Seems that EPA administrator Gina McCarthy recently testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the subject of some new regulations relating to drinking water.  To demonstrate to the Committee how popular the regulations are, McCarthy cited some one million or so public comments, nearly 90% of which, she claimed, supported the rule:

“We have received over one million comments, and 87.1 percent of those comments we have counted so far — we are only missing 4,000 — are supportive of this rule,” Ms. McCarthy told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in March. “Let me repeat: 87.1 percent of those one-plus million are supportive of this rule.”

But it turns out that the supposedly supportive comments were in response to a social media lobbying campaign orchestrated by EPA itself:

Late last year, the E.P.A. sponsored a drive on Facebook and Twitter to promote its proposed clean water rule in conjunction with the Sierra Club. At the same time, Organizing for Action, a grass-roots group with deep ties to Mr. Obama, was also pushing the rule. They urged the public to flood the agency with positive comments to counter opposition from farming and industry groups.

Anything wrong with that?  It's just the latest example of a federal government with trillions of dollars of annual taxpayer money to play with, using the money for goal number one, which is promoting the ongoing growth in size and power of the federal government itself.  How can ordinary citizens possibly amass resources to push back in any meaningful way?  Over at Powerline, Steven Hayward cites this latest government abuse as one more example in what he calls "The Crisis Of The Administrative State."

[T]oday’s administrative state—the increasingly independent fourth branch of government—has transformed government into its own special interest faction, lobbying itself on behalf of itself—increasingly in partisan ways.

Good job New York Times and Steven Hayward.  But the problem I have is that this latest EPA gambit is just the tip of the iceberg, and there is very little systematic attention paid to the vast scope of government self-promotion in all areas.  As soon as you start looking at this, you start realizing how pervasive and revolting the whole enterprise is.  I have previously covered this, for example, here, here, here and here.  Examples are literally everywhere:

It would be easy to go on all day with this.  But I would like to remind readers that we once had a President who thought that shrinking the government was a good idea, and who actually forbade members of his administration from advocating for growing their budgets.  That President was Calvin Coolidge.