A new report finds that major regulation imposed by the Obama administration cost Americans more than $80 billion per year over the past six years. That figure is more than twice as much as what the rules issued by the administration of George W. Bush six years in cost the population.
The Heritage Foundation report, “Red Tape Rising: Six Years of Escalating Regulation Under Obama,” documents an increase of 27 major rules in 2014, which brings the administration’s total to 184.
At this point in the Bush administration, only 76 major rules had been adopted at a cost of $30.7 billion, which represents 38.5 percent of the Obama administration’s cost.
Not surprisingly, the Obama administration has also overseen the weakest economic recovery in modern U.S. history. Now, five years into the Obama recovery, the economy grew a paltry 0.2 percent during the first quarter. Economic growth for Obama’s tenure in office has averaged a little over 2 percent, less than half the growth rate under Ronald Reagan following the last severe recession.
Regulations under the Dodd-Frank banking reform law and of the energy sector topped the list of the most regulations adopted during the past year.
The Daily Signal reports:
Many more regulations are on the way, with another 126 economically significant rules on the administration’s agenda, such as directives to farmers for growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables; strict limits on credit access for service members; and, yet another redesign of light bulbs.
Among the most anticipated rules is finalization of the Environmental Protection Agency’s stricter standards on emissions of ozone, which many analysts predict will be the most costly regulation ever imposed by any agency.
One reform proposed by members of Congress is the REINS Act, which would require congressional approval before implementing any major new regulations.
As reported by Western Journalism, Canada has taken action to tackle the hidden taxes imposed on its economy by regulations. The Red Tape Reduction Act (C-21) requires that for every new regulation introduced by the Canadian federal government, one of equal burden must be removed from the books.
Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has labeled red tape “the silent killer of jobs.” For businesses, an unnecessary regulatory burden seems to take away time and resources that could be used to create new products or improve existing ones, or to better serve customers. For consumers, regulations appear to mean higher costs and less competition.
One of Ronald Reagan’s first acts as President of the United States was to sign an executive order requiring all federal agencies to conduct a cost/benefit analysis for all proposed regulations and in reviewing existing ones.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, the cost of federal regulations alone to the United States economy was over $2 trillion in 2012. Eighty-eight percent of businesses surveyed identified federal regulations as their top challenge.