We are now three years into the Obama Administration. So far, new regulations have added $46 billion in costs to businesses. This is four times the pace of the regulations under George W. Bush in his first three years.
The Federal Register adds over 82,000 pages a year, each with three columns. This takes place no matter who is President.
Congress does nothing to stop this. Congress has always done nothing. We can safely assume that nothing will be done until the day when the government goes bust.
The irony is that in January 2011, President Obama announced a new policy. He promised to get tough on over-regulation. But there has been a constant stream of new high-cost regulations.
The main targets are small businesses. This is to be expected . An agency wants successful prosecutions. The way it gets them is to sue small businesses, which cannot afford to hire lawyers.
Job creation is reduced because production is reduced. A recent report concludes:
There is no agency that keeps track of new regulations. But this much can be verified.During 2011, the Obama Administration completed a total of 3,611 rulemaking proceedings, according to the Federal Rules Database maintained by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), of which 79 were classified as “major,” meaning that each had an expected economic impact of at least $100 million per year. Of those, 32 increased regulatory burdens (defined as imposing new limits or mandates on private-sector activity). Just five major actions decreased regulatory burdens. The remainder of the rules adopted were non-regulatory in nature, such as those setting spending criteria for government programs.
From 2009 until late 2011, over 10,000 rulemaking procedures were implemented. Over 200 were classified as major.
The most expensive regulation of 2011 was imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which issued a total of five major regulations at a cost of more than $4 billion annually.
Year in and year out, the noose tightens. The agencies extend their control. Congress passes new laws. This is a system that is out of control. But it has been out of control for decades. It cannot be reversed by anything except bankruptcy, which fortunately is where the federal government is headed, to the tune of $1.3 trillion a year in red ink.
“Things that cannot go on have a tendency to stop.” — Herbert Stein’s law.