Your editorial “A Victory for the Administrative State” (May 17) explains that the Supreme Court ruling in CFPB v. CFSA will “encourage partisans to contrive new ways to insulate agencies from Congressional control.” No encouragement needed. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is Congress’s pièce de résistance in a 40-year crawl toward complete financial delegation.

Congress began to forfeit the power of the purse to the administrative state in the 1980s, when the Reagan administration popularized funding agency activity through user fees. Whether it grants giant, lump-sum appropriations or allows agencies to supplement their funds by generating revenue directly from taxpayers through fees, fines and forfeiture, Congress has willingly handed over its financial responsibilities to the administrative state. From the Farm Credit Administration to the Federal Reserve System, Congress gives dozens of agencies the power to generate revenue outside general taxation. Expect the list to grow now.

The national debt is above $34 trillion. As interest payments eat up discretionary spending, lawmakers will face a choice: reduce spending, significantly raise taxes, or allow agencies to raise funds themselves, outside the appropriations process and the public eye.

The importance of this decision for the composition of the federal government cannot be overstated: To permit a limitless federal budget is to permit a limitless federal government.