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“Don’t believe everything you hear.” Many rumors “are unfounded.” That’s what Barack Obama had the audacity to tell farmers on his recent tour in the Midwest after they complained about federal regulations.
The president’s attempts to buffalo farmers with false assurances come in a record year of federal regulations. “In the first six months of 2011, some 15 major regulations were issued, with annual costs exceeding $5.8 billion, and one-time implementation costs approaching $6.5 billion.” These figures are stated in an extensive report on federal red tape assembled by the Heritage Foundation.
The administration announced Aug. 23 it would soon release plans for trimming hundreds of what Obama called “dumb” rules. Obama’s Regulatory Czar is Cass Sunstein, an academic who believes in libertarian paternalism and whose adoration for FDR knows no bounds. The new regulatory backtrack was said to save $10 billion over 10 years. But they don’t include some of the most objectionable regs, such as rules to reduce carbon emissions and requirements supposedly to protect the public from financial and health abuses. The Chamber of Commerce praised the regulatory review, but said it didn’t go far enough.
The Obama administration “imposed 76 new major regulations from January 2009 to mid FY 2011, with annual costs of $38 billion,” the Heritage analysis said. “This flood of red tape will undoubtedly persist, as hundreds of new regulations stemming from the monstrous Dodd-Frank financial regulation law, from Obamacare, and from the EPA’s global warming crusade advance though the regulatory pipeline.” This all “further weakens an anemic economy and job creation.”
Federal regulations are not only disrupting business, they are entering Americans’ lives, including how we heat our homes, light our rooms, what food we buy, how we cook it, the mattresses we sleep on, the toys our children play with, etc. Regulatory costs for businesses are passed on to consumers in such items as toilets, showerheads, cars, washing machines and dryers, ovens and refrigerators, TV sets, even bicycles.
No official accounting of total regulatory costs exists, the Heritage study said. Estimates vary. Unlike accounting of tax revenues, the study says “an oft-quoted estimate of $1.75 trillion annually is about twice the amount of individual income taxes collected last year.”
The cost burden imposed by new regulations can be tracked, however, the Heritage analysis said, and “it is growing substantially.” Fiscal 2010 saw record increases, and they have risen in 2011. From the start of the Obama reign to mid-FY 2011, regulators have stuck the American citizenry with $38 billion in new costs, “more than any comparable period on record.”
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