Friday, September 20, 2013

Our Regulator In-Chief

According to a report by the Heritage Foundation “In terms of total rulemakings, Obama’s total was almost equal to Bush’s—at 10,215 and 10,674, respectively. But most analysts recognize that these gross figures mean little, because most regulations are routine actions, such as aviation maintenance bulletins and fishing season limits. Far more telling are the numbers of “major” rules: those that will cost the private sector $100 million or more each year. We found that 106 such major new regulations have been adopted during the Obama years, compared to 28 under Bush—a ratio of 3.8 to 1. In terms of cost, Obama’s rules imposed some $46 billion in additional annual burdens, compared to $8.1 billion in new costs during the first three Bush years, a whopping 5.6 to 1 ratio.”

"Based on data from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and regulations published in the Federal Register, the Administration has published more than $488 billion in regulatory costs since January 20, 2009 – $70 billion in 2012 alone," according to the American Action Forum. “The most costly government agencies in 2012 alone are Health and Human Services (which has an estimated regulation burden of $16.7 billion), the Environmental Protection Agency ($12.1 billion), the Department of Energy ($10.6 billion), the Department of Justice ($6.9 billion), and the Securities and Exchange Commission ($6.2 billion).”

What could be worse the inflicting $46.2 billion in regulatory costs? If those regulations not only came in late but were also wrong.

According to a new study by the American Action Forum, not only has the Obama administration missed nearly half of the regulatory deadlines in Obamacare, and 59 percent of the regulatory deadlines in the Dodd-Frank bill, but many of those initial regulatory announcement turned out to be wrong.

To date, regulators implementing Dodd-Frank have been forced to issue 65 corrections to the 125 new regulations they created. The federal agencies implementing Obamacare have an even worse record, issuing 149 corrections to Obamacare’s 59 final rules.

Obama bragged during his State of the Union Address that he levied fewer regulations than his predecessor. This is true, but the impact of Obama regulations are not only much more expensive and costly to the taxpayer, but have a larger impact on companies and small businesses. According to Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations, an arm of the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), more than 4,100 new Obama regulations are in the pipeline. The group estimates that the 13 most expensive regulations will cost the U.S. economy $515 billion.

I will finish with this alarming article from the Northern Colorado Gazette which outlines the barrage of new rules, mandates, and regulations on the way from the Obama administration:

In the few days after President Obama’s reelection last week, the administration has wasted no time in continuing his agenda of stifling business with massive new regulations, by posting 408 new regulations over the past seven days.

The regulations are available on the administrations website. The administration posted three new regulations today and said it is expected to post 102 new regulations with comments in the next three days. Americans should not expect the floodgate to close any time soon, as Obama’s administration is expected to issue 932 more over the next 90 days.

The regulations cover a variety of topics such as air taxis, mergers and acquisitions of bank holding companies and all-terrain vehicle safety.

Another proposed rule includes guidance for the FDA on “enforcement criteria for canned ackee, frozen ackee, and other ackee products that contain hypoglycin A.” Ackee is a fruit from Jamaica and inedible or unripened portions of it can be toxic.

Ironically, the site includes a video of Obama where he says his goal is to reduce regulations. “We’re trying to remove, and those are outdated and unnecessary regulations. I’ve ordered a government-wide review, and if there are rules on the books that are needlessly stifling job creation and economic growth, we will fix them,” the President said.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has expressed concerns on its website that now that Obama has won reelection he could issue a rash of new rules by the EPA and other agencies.

“During the campaign, President Obama decided to postpone the enactment of several controversial rules until after the election, CEI said. “Now that this ammunition will no longer have electoral consequences, the EPA can move ahead on delayed rules on everything from greenhouse gas emissions to ozone standards. Rules from the health care bill and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill will also likely make themselves known in the weeks to come.”

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