Obama's Regulation Con
In his 2012 State of the Union speech, Obama claimed that "I've approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his."
Now what impression does a claim like that make? It conveys the impression that Obama, at the very least, is wary of increasing regulations. It conveys the impression that he realizes that regulations, however well intentioned, come at a cost. It conveys the impression that he is, directly or indirectly, aware of various studies to the effect that the regulatory cost per employee for small businesses is ~ $10,585, compared to $7,454 for medium firms and $7,755 for large firms. It conveys the impression that he is aware that it has been estimated that regulations drain 1.75 trillion out of the U.S. economy yearly. In other words it conveys the impression that he understands that well intentioned regulations, which often come spewing out government agencies after the latest crisis from oil spills to banking disasters, come at a cost and that he is no regulator-in-chief. That is the impression that the claim is meant to make.
The reverse is the case.
The Obama team has launched the greatest regulatory barrage in history. It just hasn't taken effect -- yet. I won't even take up the red ink and red tape involved in Obamacare. Just take one other example: the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (called by IBD the Dodd-Frankenstein Bill).
The sweeping law requires more than 400 separate rulemakings that may not be fully implemented for several years. It is such a regulatory nightmare that no agency is able even to come up with its final cost to the economy. One estimate has it that it has already cost the financial industry ~900 billion. The cost each year to the economy? Upwards of a trillion? The very fact that no agency, government or private, can come up with a reliable figure says it all. But not all is bad. The regulatory onslaught is a boon for compliance lawyers and government regulators, whose ranks will swell by 2,849 new positions, according to the GAO.
The law also created perhaps the most powerful regulatory agency ever established - the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It has the power to regulate, free of congressional oversight even over its budget, every consumer financial transaction and then some. And, as the IBD article (7/24) points out, it is in large part a civil rights agency with special provisions for minorities.
Obama is the Mad Hatter of regulations. He has the mentality of a grifter and the aspirations of a tyrant -- all in the name of social justice.