The Executive Branch

Have you heard the joke about the United States government being a representative one?

It goes like this: “The people who make the decisions in Washington are accountable to the people, and if they don’t do what we want, we can vote them out”.

On the surface, this appears to be a true statement. The positions of president, house of representatives, and senate are all filled by elections.

The president leads the largest branch in the United States government, and constitutional or not, it is involved in every aspect of our lives.

There are roughly 4,000,000 people in the executive branch, a large number of which make decisions that impact your life every day, yet we don’t get to elect 3,999,999 of them. Only a handful of these people will change when the president does. Nearly all of them will remain and do the same job they have done for decades.

Electing a new president is like changing the CEO of a company. The face on the wall changes, a few of the top people change, and the mission statement gets tweaked, but things will mostly continue to run as they have run in the past.

I doubt the average American even realizes just how big the executive branch is.

Here’s all the people you don’t get to elect.

3,100,000 in the department of war defense.

235,000 in the department of veterans affairs.

216,000 in the department of homeland security.

113,543 in the department of justice.

100,000 in the department of agriculture.

100,000 in the treasury department.

100,000 in the department of energy.

70,000 in the department of interior + 200,000 volunteers.

65,000 in health and human services.

55,000 in the department of transportation.

38,000 in the commerce department.

30,000 in the state department.

15,000 in the department of labor.

9,000 in housing and urban development.

4,200 in the department of education.

1,800 in the executive office of the president.

How is that a representative government?