TSA, DEA, FDA… we are surrounded by federal agencies that have way too much power. On today’s episode, we discuss what these agencies are and how they impact our daily lives.


Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Emma: Hi, Brittany.

Brittany: Hi, Emma.

Emma: So, today we’re going to talk about federal agencies. this is something that you maybe have never heard that phrase before, but you probably would recognize a few of the bigger federal agencies if I mentioned them here. So I’m just gonna list off a few, and then I’m gonna go into a little bit of what they are and kind of how they work. so a big one that affects children a lot is the Department of Education. Yes. We’ve got the Environmental Protection Agency. Ooh. that’s one that, yeah, your parents might complain about a little more when they have to deal with it at the DMV and all that stuff, but Homeland Security is another one. and then these are the ones that you’ve probably seen in movies or maybe spy movies or that kind of thing. TV shows. There’s the intelligence agencies, which are the FBI, which is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That’s a mouthful. It’s like

Brittany: The national police, right? Isn’t that yes?

Emma: Yeah, it’s basically, yeah, it’s police on a national level. and they do, they do like federal crime type stuff. And then we’ve got the CIA, which is the Central Intelligence Agency.

Brittany: We don’t like them either.

Emma: Basically. No, no. They do a lot of sketchy stuff. So the CIA basically spies on the rest of the world to, you know, supposedly keep us safer. And then there’s the NSA, which is the really sketchy one. Yes. it’s the National Security Agency. Yes. I believe. Yes. Or something like that. So it’s very generic. They don’t tell us a lot about what they do, but when, when Edward Snowden sort of came forward with a bunch of stuff about what the government was doing to people and how it was spying on people, the NSA was involved in a lot of that stuff and it was not good. So those, are sort of the overview of a few easily recognized agencies, but there are so many, there are dozens and dozens of different ones. basically what these are is they are like offices set up by the federal government. So sometimes Congress will call for them to be set up. sometimes someone in the White House will push to have one made. and basically, they are like these federal, groups that their job is very specific, or it could be more broad. there’s like the Department of Justice, which is basically the legal department for the federal government. And they do all kinds of different things. And that’s sort of what makes them so tricky and so bad, is they don’t really have a very clear job description. And when you sort of read into how the United States was set up and the vision that the founding fathers had when they created the United States, there wasn’t really anything in there about these federal agencies. And yet they control so much of our lives. So, Brittany, do you wanna talk a little bit about how these different agencies might affect us in ways that we don’t notice?

Brittany: Yes. And I wanna start by saying one thing that is crazy is, you know, we believe in representation that is what, and consent of the governed, we’ve talked about this before. So one thing that’s that’s really scary about all these agencies is these are not elected officials. These are appointees. which means that somebody just said, all right, you’re gonna lead this, you’re gonna lead that. So as the, you know, we, the people, we didn’t actually elect these people, and they’re passing laws when they’re not legislators. You know, we have checks and balances and separation of powers that says only one branch of government, and that’s a legislative branch, is allowed to pass laws. But then you have to ask yourself, you know, the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, they have so many silly laws that they’ve made. For example, if it rains on your property and there is a puddle, it’s called a vernal pole. I know way too much about this, but, so if there is a little puddle on your property for let’s say, I think it’s two weeks out of the year, the APA can come on your property and say that’s what’s called navigable water. which means like, oh, ships can go in there. Now, these pedals are like, a puddle, like think of a puddle you see on the ground that you splash in. Yeah. But they’ve made this law that says, oh, you know, you’re violating the environment because of, you know, your whatever it is. And so they pass these laws, but you have to wonder why because that’s, they don’t have the ability to, now that might not be affecting you and I on an everyday basis, but if you’re a farmer and or even just a house owner, a homeowner, and that’s a, in your backyard, they can come and find you. it’s something crazy like, and I’m not even making this, it’s something like, like 50,000 a day sometimes, or, you know, 5,000. Oh gosh. It’s crazy. Because none of us can afford that. So when you tear the term bureaucrat, these different agencies, that’s what they’re talking about. So let’s talk about how it impacts our daily lives. So the FDA, I think is a big one. And you and I talked about health on another episode and how, you know, the FDA decided that the food pyramid was a great thing. And now we sit here and they haven’t redacted this yet, but now we’re having all this science saying, wait, maybe you shouldn’t have a diet full of carbs and nothing else. You know, So think about it with so many kids in public schools, they were taught this because that’s what the FDA said. Now, there’s some other crazy parts about the FDA. So nut milks are really big right now. Almond milk, cashew milk. So the FDA decided at one point that, because it didn’t come from cows, you couldn’t market almond milk is milk, and they tried to get you to call it something else. Yep. Or, manufacturers to call it something else. This might seem like a silly thing, but for advertisers who rely on this, I mean, what are you gonna buy almond water or almond milk? You know? Right. So it’s so funny to me. So there are these little teeny things that these agencies do that actually impact a lot of what we do every single day. Look at the NSA. we used to live not thinking that our government was listening to every single, we say. But now we have, and this is actually shows innovation now. We have apps like Signal. People are scared to text on their phones. They use signals so that maybe the government won’t spy on us. So, these agencies are purely bureaucratic and they impact almost every facet of our daily lives.

Emma: Yeah. You’re so right. And another interesting thing that we’ve kind of talked about is special interest groups. Yes. That basically lobby the government and put on pressure to get certain regulations put in place that they can navigate and that they can benefit from, but that hurts their competitors. And the nut milk thing is definitely a good example of that.

Brittany: Oh yeah, that’s perfect. Yeah.

Emma: Yeah. The dairy industry came in and said, Hey, we don’t want anyone else advertising anything as milk that that’s gonna ruin us. So they came in and I’m, laughing, but it’s really messed up. Yeah. Because the government said, okay, fine. Dairy industry, you’re a big deal to us, and you put a lot of, you know, lobbying money into the government, and it’s this horrible, corrupt thing. So they went right ahead and said, no, you can’t label almond milk as milk You need to label it as almond water or an almond beverage.

Brittany: Yeah. Almond something silly. Yeah.

Emma: Yeah. It’s always something ridiculous. And, you know, I’m all for people being able to choose whatever kind of milk they want, but I don’t like when the government says, oh no, you can’t label that product as that word. That’s just the most absurd thing ever. And this, this is just one example, one tiny example of how these agencies basically supersede the law, which means they go up and above and over the law and do their own thing and don’t actually play by the rules. And Brittany, you mentioned that none of these people were elected. Yes. I think that’s one of the worst parts about it. Yep. Is we’ve got all of these people who they basically just knew somebody or they, they got a job at one of these agencies, however, however they, you know, get their way in. And then a lot of them stay there for their entire career. Forever. Yeah. Since career bureaucrats. And they, you know, you and I probably ran into a lot of them when we were both in DC I know you’re still up there.

Brittany: I’m still there.

Emma: And there are people who spend their entire lives working at the same agency, and all they do is make rules to tell other people how to live. And that is not the vision. When you read into how this country was founded and why this country was founded, it was because people were fed up with being told how they could live and being, you know, having the little details of their life dictated to them by the British. And that’s why we have America. So for us to have this giant agency system, it received in 2020 agencies received something called discretionary spending. It’s one of three different types of spending that the federal government does. And these agencies, all these different ones that we’ve talked about, and a bunch more, they received 1.6 trillion with a T.

Brittany: Oh my goodness.

Emma: Tax dollars in 2020 alone. And it goes up every year, of course, because government budgets always only go up. And that’s how much money from taxpayers these agencies received. So, basically, we never authorized them to exist. That’s crazy. We never gave them the power over us, and we have our money forcibly taken away from us to pay their budgets. So it’s this huge twist in our democracy, and it’s a real step away from the freedom that we’re supposed to have in America to be governed by people that we elect. So people on the left, and Democrats especially, they love to talk about, oh, democracy, it’s so important. And I agree that’s an important foundation and an important value in this country, I would say to that. You know, why don’t we take a look at our federal government and how it works and make that a little more democratic, I think that might be a good place to start.

Brittany: I think you’re absolutely right. And it’s funny to me, and it’s not just Democrats that do this because a lot of, like the TSA that was, you know, that was under George Bush who was a publican. Oh, yes. But every time there’s a problem, it’s almost like they, okay, let’s create a new agency and they’re not doing anything but taking our money.

Emma: Or task force.

Brittany: Or task force or something. And it makes people feel good. Like it appeases people like, okay, you know, well, if there’s an agency, they’re doing something. But I don’t know that we could find one agency that’s actually doing anything. I mean, even the TSA has never, has never stopped a terrorist attack. The Department of Education has made our education system worse. In fact, here’s something that’s really enraging only 10 cents of every dollar the Department of Education gets, goes to students 10 cents. That’s insane. Yeah. So what’s go, what’s happening is all these career bureaucrats, as we call them, they’re the ones getting paid. So it’s just them patting themselves on the back, creating an agency, and finding a way to make money. And it’s also a real violation of, you know, state’s rights are, our government was based on self-regulation. It was supposed to be the smallest source of government. And then if there was major conflict, you went to the federal government to kind of moderate. Right. And now this takes power away from the states because no matter what your state law is, someone like the EPA can come in and say, you know, that puddle is a vernal pool, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And that doesn’t allow us to self-regulate, because if our own states can’t even have the sovereignty as we call it, to govern themselves, then individuals of course don’t have that power. So it’s really scary. Yeah. I think I fear agencies and these bureaucrats more than I fear the people in Congress, you know.

Emma: Yeah. Well, it’s true because people in Congress at least have accountability. Yes. And they can be voted out very quickly. Most people in Congress have two-year terms. Yep. So if someone goes in and does something really messed up, that really goes against their constituents, people voting for them, what they believe, they can throw ’em out of office. And it’s a pretty straightforward process, and it happens all the time. there’s plenty of people that have been in Congress for way too long, in my opinion, but at least there’s that accountability where yes, it’s up to the people in their district and in their community to decide whether or not they deserve a job. And, you know, like we’ve talked about these people that work at these agencies, they were never elected. They were never chosen by the people. And especially because it’s on a federal level. It’s not just, you know, the person that gets hired to be your local dog catcher, it’s someone who is basically controlling the entire country. And I think, not to get too, like talking about COVID again, but Anthony Fauci, Dr. Fauci was a huge example of how a bureaucrat can affect really, really strongly affect our lives day to day without ever getting elected or ever being chosen by people. He’s someone who, you know, he was this doctor, and he, he was around in the government and ran in government circles for a long time and just kind of climbed his way up the ranks to become this really powerful person. And to me, he’s more of a politician than a doctor because he’s someone who came into power basically, and, you know, kind of benefited from our fear.

Brittany: Yes, absolutely.

Emma: If I see that he’s someone who got more powerful as people got more scared, and he kept rising up and getting more and more power. And yet we don’t have the ability to fire him. Like that is the most drastic, just overreach into our lives. This is someone who has had a lot of control over our day-to-day lives over the last year or so. And we never actually chose him. Nope. Like, at least with the president, we technically picked them. Yep. And you can throw ’em out if they’re doing a bad job. So that’s why bureaucracy is such a bad thing. that’s why it’s so dangerous is there’s no accountability to it. So that’s kind of everything I’ve got to say about agencies, at least for today. I could go on and on. Brittany, do you have anything to add here?

Brittany: Nope, again, if I get started on a tangent, I won’t ever stop. So we should cut it off here.

Emma: Yes. I’m with you there. And maybe sometime we’ll go in more detail to a couple of these specific agencies, especially the intelligence ones that are spying and monitoring us. I think that’d be a fun conversation. But thank you for listening, guys. we appreciate you joining in. And be sure to check out the show notes for some mower info on the budget and how these things get funded. I will put in a really interesting infographic and we will talk to you guys again soon. Thank you, Brittany.

Brittany: Talk to you later.