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.