Lost in the Sprawl of Infinite Bureaucracy


In the classic Star Trek episode "A Wolf in the Fold," a malevolent alien presence take's over the Enterprise's computer, wreaking havoc aboard the ship. Commander Spock eventually defeats the presence by commanding the computer to calculate pi to the final digit. Last week, the Congressional Research Service attempted what turned out to be a similarly endless task—estimating the number of new bureaucratic entities created by ObamaCare—and reported that it, too, could not compute. From Politico:

Don't bother trying to count up the number of agencies, boards and commissions created under the new health care law. Estimating the number is "impossible," a recent Congressional Research Service report says, and a true count "unknowable."

…The law says a lot about some of them and a little about many, and merely mentions a few. Some have been authorized without any instructions on who is to appoint whom, when that might happen and who will pay.

Those agencies created without specific appointment or appropriations procedures will have to wait indefinitely for staff and funding before they can function, according to Copeland's report. And others could be just the opposite: One entity might not be enough and could spawn others, resulting in an "indeterminate number of new organizations."