Spewing Red Ink, Red Tape and Red Politics
Thursday's Ramirez cartoon in IBD has a fountain of red ink spewing from the top of the Capitol. If it had been spewing red tape it would have highlighted an equally serious problem.
The Obama administration had successfully shunted the red tape issue to the sidelines after Obama made a speech talking about purging redundant, contradictory and "just plain dumb" regulations and appointed his rule monger in chief Cass Sunsteirn to oversee the great regulatory "new age" purge of business stifling regulations. Then, two weeks ago, Sunstein wrote a self-congratulatory article in WSJ touting the great strides that have already been made.
Over the past four months, government agencies and departments have combed through their rules, listened carefully to the public, and developed plans to identify what works and what doesn't. The results of this review are in. Today, 30 agencies are laying out regulatory reforms that will save private-sector dollars and unlock economic growth by eliminating unjustified regulations, including what the president has called "absurd and unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money."
This past Friday, however, the House Energy and Commerce Committee forced Sunstein to admit that the May deadline for government agencies to comply with the directive to submit a progress report has resulted in only one government agency doing so. The Obama administration is still spewing forth regulations at a rate never seen before while putting on a show of pruning business stifling regulations.
To begin with, according to an IBD editorial, the number of pages in the Federal Register has leapt 18% from 2009 to 2010. Moreover, in just his first 18 months in office, Obama imposed 43 major regulations that will cost businesses more than $26 billion, which, according to the Heritage Foundation, is far more than any other similar period for which records are available. But the killer is, that when ObmaCare kicks in, it will saddle the health care industry with a mind-boggling amount of new rules. Just six pages of text in the law already resulted in 429 pages of regulations.
Should we be surprised? This is the same Cass Sunstein who wants to nudge the witless citizenry of the U.S. into appropriate behavior by increasing government regulations. Among his gems of regulatory social engineering are regulations to get the government out of the marriage business and regulations to pay informants to police the internet -- sending covert agents into "chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups." This is the Sunstein who wants to regulate our behavior so that we eat right, think right and accept death when we become useless. And of course, Sunstein, like most of Obama's appointees, knows what's right for the dim-witted populace who are incapable of making the right decisions for themselves.
It is getting easier and easier to know what is for show and what is for real in the Obama administration. Appointments and initiatives to tackle real problems are for show and regulations to bring the US into progressive Nirvana are for real. At any rate, it is becoming increasingly obvious that this administration favorite color is red. Red ink, red tape and red politics. Ramirez?