40th Anniversary of the Paperwork Reduction Act

Bottom Line

President Carter signed the Paperwork Reduction Act on December 11, 1980 making it unique in the history of the  Presidency in that oversight would be exercised over one component of the administrative state on a daily basis by intervening in its insatiable appetite for more information.  It should be noted that this landmark effort was preceded some nine years earlier by another precedential action which gave the President oversight authority over environmental, health and safety regulation, the Quality of Life Review, which provided the information base for designing process changes championed by the Ford, Carter and Reagan Administrations.

Questions to Nominees for the Administrator of OIRA

Options for the Management of the  Administrative State

After forty years of existence, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) housed in the White House Office of Management and Budget has demonstrated that it is the fulcrum of the administrative state. In the establishment of OIRA the Congress, and subsequently the President, rightfully made one person publicly accountable for the numerous federal regulatory actions taken each day within the Administrative State. That said OIRA is one of the very few institutions that has the President’s back when well intentioned appointees to federal agencies fail to recognize that their actions are often guided by a natural migration toward a silo mentality. It are these actions to which the public holds the President accountable every four years.

A Magna Carta for the Administrative State

The Library

The Program

CRE has just completed its analysis of the contribution that three professions,  economics, law and political science, make to the management of the administrative state. Although select parties in each of the aforementioned professions have made notable contributions to the effective working of the administrative state, we discovered that management improvement is not the long suit of their professions taken as whole.  Yes, we use the term “management” because whether or not the administrative state is constitutional it plays a dominant role in society, in part because of the increasing interdependency of its citizenry.  Consequently  the efforts herein  are focused on  managing the administrative state —  not destroying it. In other words make the best of it.

Climate Change, Pandemic, Unemployment–They All Pale Compared To The Threat On Judges

Washington Post


The heightened security steps reflect the rising number of threats against federal judges throughout the country. They also come as leaders of the federal judiciary ask Congress for help ramping up court protection after the attack this summer on the family of New Jersey District Judge Esther Salas. Her 20-year-old son was killed and her husband was critically wounded at their home by an embittered self-proclaimed “anti-feminist” who had filed a case before the judge.


This Month’s Political Science Paper and Management of the Administrative State


November 2020       Critical Reflections on Hamiltonian Perspectives on Rule‐Making and
Legislative Proposal Initiatives by the Chief Executive

October 2020            Should We Defend the Administrative State?

September 2020       Policy Durability, Agency Capacity, and Executive Unilateralism

August 2020             Policy Making in the Shadow of Executive Action

Current Events: Management of the Administrative State



October 2020

ICLSS 2020: Law and Social Sciences Conference, Istanbul (Oct 22-23, 2020)

Freedom with Limitations: The Nature of Free Expression in the European Case-Law

 Does Transparency Inhibit Political Compromise?

September 2020

Quote of the Month (Year):

To some establishing principles for the management of the administrative state is akin to going to the Street with a proposal to take a brothel public.

Influential Articles on the Management of the Administrative State


Four Priority Areas for smart regulation inquiry by the political science community

  • Pandemic
  • The Economy

The Benefits and Costs of Using Social Distancing to Flatten the Curve for COVID-19

Here is an economic study of the benefits and costs associated with social distancing published in the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis. If the attached analysis were submitted to OIRA for review here is an instance where neither an in-depth knowledge of Chevron or government is a prerequisite for a substantive review.

Three Mentors

Each of us cherish our exposure to those who played a major role in our education. Here are my top three:

Ralph Blodgett          Economics Professor (Ph.D. Committee)

Rufus Issacs             Mathematician (Supervisor)

Allan Schmid            Institutional Economist (Co-worker)

Jim Tozzi

NB The above list is a result of questions asked by reporters as to the most influential educational figures in my career. It is a question that all of our readers might want to address. In addition, you often know where a person is coming from if you know where he or she has been; full disclosures such as the above are often more significant than identifying the types of degrees conferred on an individual.

Public Dissemination of “Management of the Administrative State”

Editor’s Note: The report presented herein is an advocacy document aimed at furthering the prudential management of the administrative state–not its abolition.

In preparing this report our objective is to initiate a debate on the principles available for managing the administrative state. It is envisioned that the resultant program will transcend existing topics such as judicial review, centralized regulatory review and benefit-cost analyses and by doing so recognize that agency-made law is exponentially greater than anything produced by the courts.

We call your particular attention to the footnotes and their associated links in the aforementioned report; they are among the priority posts reproduced from thousands of pages of material on the CRE website.

Reagulation: The first year

Editor’s Note:

This post is made in response to requests for information that could be used to compare the Reagan regulatory program with that of Trump aka Reagan v. Trump. Academics survive because they publish; practitioners survive because they do not publish. Accordingly in addition to the post that follows we call to the attention of potential authors the following posts: Regulatory Reform Under Reagan and Trump, The State of the Administrative State, Trump Contributions to the Administrative State, One-Half Century of Centralized Regulatory Review and Has the Reign of the Economist Ended?