Obama's Regulatory Recession

Discussion in 'Politics' started by pspr, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. pspr


    The Obama economy is preparing to take a prolonged and painful dive into the abyss. If the new taxes and ballooning national debt that Obama promises aren't enough to bury America his regulatory onslaught will certainly finish us off.

    Even if President Obama and John Boehner work out a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff," the U.S. is still careening toward a another cliff, thanks to Obama's massively expensive, if little noticed, regulatory agenda.

    Almost as soon as voters decided to give Obama four more years, his regulators once again sprang into action.

    Or as the AP put it, "Since the election, the Obama administration has quietly reopened the regulations pipeline."

    The latest is a costly new rule that tightens allowable levels of so-called fine particulate matter. That will make it far harder for local governments to issue new manufacturing permits if they are to stay in compliance with the new standard.

    Worse, the new rule isn't even needed, since the EPA's own data show levels of this pollutant — called PM 2.5 — steadily declining under the existing standard.

    The National Association of Manufacturers called the EPA's decision a "staggering level of shortsightedness." That's putting it mildly.

    The public also didn't learn until after the election that they will each have to pay a $63 fee, thanks to new ObamaCare regulations.

    In essence, this is a surprise $25 billion tax hike — imposed on everyone, middle-class families included — to offset what the administration admits will be a massive disruption in the insurance market once ObamaCare's rules kick in.

    In addition, the EPA has proposed water quality rules for beaches. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to require automakers to include "black box" data recorders in every car starting in 2014.

    And these are just a taste of the regulatory calamities that lie ahead now that Obama has four more years to "remake" the American economy. Sen. James Inhofe has a 14-page report outlining just the expected EPA regulations for 2013.

    Among the others waiting in the wings: New greenhouse gas rules, new rules for "clean" gasoline, new smog rules, new clean water rules, new food safety rules, and still more auto mandates.

    There are also rules in the works covering coal ash, toxic pollutants, cooling water intakes at power plants, sunscreens, new efficiency standards, and various workplace rules.

    Plus there's a mountain of ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank rules still to be written.

    According to the National Federation of Independent Business, a total of more than 4,000 federal rules are in the works, just the 13 biggest of which would cost more than $515 billion in compliance costs over four years.

    In his first three years in office, Obama already showed himself to be a historically aggressive regulator, issuing 37% more "economically significant" regulations than President Bush did in his first 3-1/2 years, according to White House data.

    An analysis by the Heritage Foundation finds that Obama actually imposed nearly four times as many new rules as Bush had.

    In his first term, Obama tried to pretend he wasn't a big regulator, ordering his agencies at one point to scrub the books for outdated or duplicative rules.

    But without a re-election to worry about, Obama has little reason to sustain this pretense.

    And, since federal rules are virtually impossible to undo once imposed, he has every reason to push regulators to do more and embed his legacy deep into the American economy.

    The only thing Obama will have to figure out is whom he'll blame for the economic disaster his regulatory onslaught will cause.