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Regulatory Insanity: Which Political Party Serves America Best Will Surprise You
In part one, we outlined the massive regulatory load imposed on the nation by the federal level. But it’s a lot worse. What’s the rest of the story? In 2013 the states passed over 40,000 new laws, and that’s not including county and city laws. If we make a broad assumption that the average rule multiplier for federal laws applies to state laws, we now have a potential of 1,014,400 new laws called ⏤ “rules!” Rules created by unaccountable bureaucrats, with their own agendas and views of reality, and who, generally speaking, went to college and then into government.
During the first five years of the Obama administration ⏤ regulatory costs increased by $500 billion, “with $112 billion in regulatory compliance costs in 2013 alone, and predicted that the burden would continue to increase this year to as much as $143 billion”. The federal registry, where all the regulations are listed, contains 80,224 pages this year alone. It’s estimated that in ten years, at the current rate of regulatory growth, they will generate approximately 900,000 new pages of regulations, which will be on top of the approximately 800,000 pages of regulations passed in the previous ten years.
All of these regulations do one thing for sure – create jobs – for non-productive bureaucrats. It took government employees 10.38 billion hours to do “the paperwork for the federal government in 2013, and will take 78,000 full-time employees to complete the additional paperwork.”
Are there benefits from laws and the regulations they generate, and if so, who benefits? In this kind of hyper-regulatory, high tax economy ⏤ many of these laws and regulations are promoted by businesses that want to make it harder for companies that will be, or are, competitors. As a result, “all aspects of business, entrepreneurship degenerates into “bribery and diplomacy.”
Instead of focusing on creating value for customers, entrepreneurs spend their time lobbying for favors or to avoid penalties, all trying to discern the government’s next move, anticipating or adapting to the newest regulations.”
But this was to be expected from a party that loves big government and “more” laws and regulations ⏤ all the better to control our lives. What about the administrations that have been considered “conservative and anti-big government” and supposedly opposed to all these regulations?
There were more regulations passed during George W. Bush’s administration than any president since Richard Nixon. Furthermore the idea there is some invisible divide between the left and the so-called right regarding regulations and the promotion of the all-powerful state is an illusion.
“The modern regulatory state is a bipartisan enterprise: During the half-century before President Obama’s election, the greatest growth in regulation came under Presidents Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. And the Bush administration set the stage for many of the Obama initiatives that Republicans are now attacking. Dodd-Frank’s policy of designating some financial firms as “too big to fail” is a codification of the Paulson-Bernanke bailout approach of 2008. It was the Bush Treasury Department that first proposed a financial consumer-protection agency, and the Bush Environmental Protection Agency that first proposed regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. The Obama energy rules were authorized — and in some cases, such as the light-bulb ban, required — by a 2007 statute that President Bush vigorously championed.”
In part one of this series, we said we’d come back to Richard Nixon, so, what about Richard M. Nixon? Nixon was a strange man and still an enigma to many, and understandably so, because Nixon was the first to advocate what was called a New Federalism, which would ‘devolve’ power to state and local governments. But he was the first one to jump on the environmental bandwagon promoted by the first Earth Day in 1970. He believed this was a precursor of public concern, and he wanted to benefit from it politically.
Eventually, he passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act, requiring environmental impact statements for federal projects. He created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). All of which create virtual lava flows of scientifically dubious regulations, creating outrageous burdens on the American people, and the American economy.
Furthermore, all these laws and agencies give rise to lawsuits by activists that plague economic development with legal costs, studies, and delays. What is the cost of all these federal regulations to the nation’s people?
As pointed out in part one, it costs American families one point nine trillion dollars a year. And we have no idea what kind of costs all these state laws and even county and city laws impose on society. So what is the solution ⏤ at least at the federal level? We will tell you in part three of this series ⏤ but a clue is that CARTHAGE MUST BE DESTROYED.
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