As the head of the executive branch, the president must enforce legislation and, in some cases, Supreme Court decisions favorable to their administration. That’s a lot of law for just one person to study and enforce. To meet the office’s demands, hundreds of federal agencies and departments have been created during the many presidential administrations in American history to help the president with these responsibilities. Although the president sits at the top of the executive branch, the Cabinet takes responsibility for the various offices and departments that keep the country running daily.
The Cabinet of the United States originally consisted of the vice president, secretaries of state, treasury, and war (which was later changed to defense), and the attorney general. Later, the secretaries of the interior, agriculture, commerce, labor, health and human services, housing and urban development, transportation, energy, education, veterans affairs, and homeland security were created that make up the full Cabinet today. Various presidencies added these departments as a way for the president to oversee and manage new challenges to the country. Many have criticized that these new positions and agencies have created a bureaucracy that gives the president too much power. Still, Congress and the American people have generally accepted this reality over the last century and a half in exchange for quicker problem-solving.
It is important to note that while the Cabinet is mighty and helps manage the country, the president ultimately holds power in the executive branch. A president will not willingly pick a Cabinet that opposes his real legislative plan, even if their public statements say otherwise. While bureaucrats are extremely powerful nowadays, they still answer to the president at the end of the day.