NO POLITICIAN ever lost votes by denouncing the bureaucracy. Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford could agree on little else during their 1976 presidential contest than that "the bureaucracy" was a mess. Senator Edward M. Kennedy rarely has passed up a chance to attack the Food and Drug Administration for the way it endangers public health by "rushing" new drugs into the market. Members of the House of Representatives were outraged at the Federal Trade Commission's proposal to restrict television advertisements aimed at children and regulate used-car dealers and funeral parlors. When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered auto manufacturers to install seat belts that had to be fastened before the car could be started, the public and Congress erupted in anger. Senator Malcolm Wallop ran for office by towing an outdoor portable toilet around his state of Wyoming, ridiculing the officials of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration who, he charged, had ordered ranchers to use them for their field hands. The public schools are raked over the coals regularly by legislators furious at educators' apparent unwillingness to do more to increase pupil achievement and reduce school-yard violence. There is scarcely a city council member in the country who has not at one time or another denounced the local police department for being slow to respond to citizen calls for help. If ever the weapons procurement system used by the Pentagon has been praised by a member of Congress, history has failed to record the fact. These and countless other horror stories readily come to mind as evidence that in this country we confront a "runaway bureaucracy" indifferent to the wishes of its political superiors.
People angry about an out-of-control bureaucracy might be equally angry at the many scholars who argue that far from being runaway, government agencies in this country are under the control of the very legislators who so regularly denounce them. Virtually every political scientist who has studied the matter agrees that Congress possesses, in Herbert Kauf