The era of big government's coming back with a vengeance

Last week, the BLS noted a new upsurge in federal hiring. The federal workforce has once again gone above 2.8 million, the first time it has reached that level since the sequester of the 2013 budget agreement. July’s preliminary employment report shows 33,000 more federal workers than a year ago. It’s a gain of almost 80,000 since the post-sequester low in May 2014. Just the addition alone would rank the federal government in the top ten privately-held employers in the US.

That expansion has not come in a vacuum, either. This weekend, The New York Times hailed the outgoing president as “one of the most prolific authors of major regulations in presidential history.” In a valediction to Obama, Binyamin Applebaum and Michael Shear declare that Obama once had “deep misgivings about executive power,” but that he had spent almost eight years using his executive authority to insert “the United States government more deeply into American life.”

Applebaum and Shear blame Republican Congresses for Obama’s reliance on regulation and unilateral action, but admit that “once Mr. Obama got the taste for it, he pursued his executive power without apology, and in ways that will shape the presidency for decades to come.”