Free Markets, Free People

Regulations and Obama: Judge him by what he does, not what he says

Remember the hot air Obama has given regulatory reform?

In January 2010, he announced a government-wide review of federal regulations to restore "balance" by eliminating those "that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive." He emphasized that concept again in his 2011 State of the Union speech, referring to "rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses."

Of course that was all said to deflect a growing belief that his administration was anti-business.  Politically, that was unacceptable.  So, as usual, he said the appropriate things, things that would help sooth the business community and others who believed that about his administration.

Meanwhile, other than a few fairly insignificant regulations that may have been removed, his administration was piling on new regulations at an unprecedented rate.  The Heritage Foundation has put it in a chart for simplicity’s sake:




Heritage issues this disclaimer:

Excessive regulation, of course, cannot be blamed on the White House alone. A great many of the rules and regulations imposed each year are mandated by Congress, and many others are made possible by intentionally ambiguous statutory language. Others are promulgated by so-called independent agencies not subject to White House control (although they are run by presidential appointees). Regardless of responsibility, the result is the same: more burdens for Americans and the U.S. economy.

A reminder for all that for the first two years when most of these regulations were passed into law, Obama enjoyed a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress.

And, huge surprise here, even more regulation is in the pipeline:

The most recent Unified Agenda (also known as the Semiannual Regulatory Agenda)—a bi-annual compendium of planned regulatory actions as reported by agencies lists 2,576 rules (proposed and final) in the pipeline. The largest proportion—505 rulemakings—is from the Treasury Department, the SEC, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission—all tasked with issuing hundreds of rules under the massive Dodd–Frank statute. The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for 174 others, while 133 are from the Department of Health and Human Services, reflecting, in part, the regulatory requirements of Obamacare.

Of the 2,576 pending rulemakings in the fall 2011 agenda, 133 are classified as “economically significant.” With each of these expected to cost at least $100 million annually, they represent a total additional burden of at least $13.3 billion every year.

So pardon me for giving whatever this President says a health eye roll of skepticism.  He’s not serious about what he says when it comes to regulation and the actions that have taken place under this administration, strictly on the executive side of things, says he’s actually quite fine with increased regulation, regardless of the impact on business.

Bottom line: he remains as most have perceived him to be – anti-business.  He continues to be at the head of an administration that does indeed “stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive” through over-regulation.

His deeds belie his words.


Twitter: @McQandO

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13 Responses to Regulations and Obama: Judge him by what he does, not what he says

  • There is always, always the force of contradiction at work, even within a paragraph, with this guy. Dissect his SOTUS by paragraph, and you’ll be gob-smacked. This is a FEATURE, not a bug…

  • I always love the claim that regulations create more jobs .. but do they create more productivity ? Of course not.

    • @Neo_ Some do. But those were probably done a long time ago, like the Qin emperor who made standardized weights, measures, and coinage. Those are regulations that spur growth and productivity.

      I doubt many of those low-hanging fruit exist anymore.

      BTW, its fascinating to read about the Qin and find out that politics really hasn’t changed. Cronies bitching about not enough spoils, over-reaching government, etc.

      • @Harun Interestingly, there is real question about whether government has to be the source of even such basics as weights and measures. Consider the industry standards set for DVDs and such that are organic, international, and totally effective.

        • @Ragspierre Back in 300 BC it may have been harder. I do know one great way to bust on a liberal who demands government regulation and denies the private sector can regulate themselves is to ask them why Underwriter’s Laboratory works so well. (Germany has one of these as well in TUV Rheinland.) Think about that – fire hazard from electrical products managed by a private group!

        • @Harun I’m surprised they don’t tell you UL is part of the Government.

        • The Qin would actually count the leather scales on suits of armor to make sure they were the correct count. They fined government officials who were wayward in “shields” and “armor” – ingenious way of funding your military.

        • @Harun I hold that product liability lawsuits are a market response, too. The entire field of common-law tort developed collaterally with free markets.

        • @Ragspierre

          Perhaps, but we have learned better since then. Important decisions impacting the health and welfare of citizens, especially children, cannot be left to a small group of uninformed peasants. I mean citizens. We must have enlightened professional commissars/bureaucrats/citizen-activists doing it. Plus juries can be swayed by demagogic lawyers while the professionals are impartial and objective.


        • @timactual “juries can be swayed by demagogic lawyers” but I think that’s true also. See Edwards channeling babies…so what’s the 3rd way if any?

        • @Harun Do you ever get screwy results out of self government? Same-same. Got a better system?