The U.S. government consists of 3 formal branches of government as noted in the U.S. constitution but two others that are never recognized.
By definition we do indeed have three branches of government. Legislative, Executive and Judicial. The Fantasy Free Approach considers institutions in terms of how they function and not according to how each is defined.
In terms of how government institutions function, there are two additional branches, one of which is more powerful than all of the others put together.
The most powerful, at the very top of the governmental power hierarchy is organized crime. It is from a global crime syndicate that all important legislation originates. The lifeblood of ordinary crime families is the skimming operation. All bills passed today are skimming operations. Federal Reserve Policies are skimming operation. Stimulus packages consist of countless skimming operations. Skimming operations are the only source of new laws in today’s world. Today’s Affordable Care Act is the most prolific skimming operation in history. Ethanol is certainly deserving of mention. The Full Employment Act of 1978 facilitates the passing of skimming operations although it is not directly a skimming operation itself.
“We The People” or the voting public constitute a second additional branch of government. “We The People” have enormous potential in terms of power and knowledge. As a branch of government, this group is almost completely impotent. Over the years, the right to vote has almost been completely diffused as a controlling political force. We the people do indeed vote, but do so based on what little superficial information is given to them. They’re political activities consist of virtue signalling and tribal positioning. Public opinion is easily managed. They respond to cute sound bites and terms that don’t mean anything. A few of these are, hate speech, conspiracy theory, Make America Great Again, racist, etc.
For any democratic system to survive, there must be constant tension and distrust between leaders and those who elect them. American citizens do nothing 0f the kind. For candidates to support, they go messiah seeking and produce absolutely no tension with respect to the leaders they elect. Any power “We the People” have is strictly potential.
The constitutional branches of government, Executive, Judicial and Legislative are controlled by the crime syndicate which is the source of laws and governmental policies. Political parties serve functions similar to those of the old style crime families still operating in the Northeast. The three formal branches of government have the role of funneling profits to the global crime syndicate that controls them.
Folks expect their chosen messiahs to make their lives better and carry out their will. Everyone is always confounded by outcomes. Judges make decisions that make no sense based on their normal judicial posture. Despite who they vote for as president or anything else, they discover nothing ever changes for the better.
I have just explained why political outcomes always work against the general population. That is possible because I use the Fantasy Free approach to decipher what goes on in economics and politics.