The Biden administration is supercharging federal regulations
At the end of his first ten days in office, Joe Biden had issued 42 Executive Orders, a new presidential record. The Executive Orders that garnered the most attention concerned killing jobs by killing the Keystone Pipeline, open the border, ending deportations, giving federal protection to mentally-ill people’s “gender” delusions, and inviting China back into America. One of the worst EOs, though, slipped under the radar, and that’s the one super-charging federal regulations.
One of the things holding back the American economy under Obama was the inordinate burden that regulations imposed on businesses. The burden was especially heavy on small businesses.
The large corporations that work hand-in-hand with the Democrat party have entire departments dedicated to dealing with federal regulations. For these businesses, regulations are a marvelous anti-competitive tool that ensures that no small- to mid-size business can ever gain enough traction to pose a serious market risk.
Not only do regulations impose huge costs on businesses, but they are also a trap for the unwary. In his book, Three Felonies a Day, civil-liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate estimated that the glut of federal laws means that the average person innocently breaks at least three federal criminal laws per day. It’s even worse when it comes to violating regulations, for the number of regulations far exceeds the already onerous number of federal laws affecting every American.
The government uses these laws and regulations in the same way that Lavrentiy Beria, who headed Stalin’s secret police, used the maze of Soviet-era laws and regulations: “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” In other words, when the federal government turns on someone, the Department of Justice can track backward through that person’s life and, invariably, find something he or she unknowingly did wrong.
One of the reasons Trump had such a soaring economy was that he lessened the federal regulatory burdens weighing Americans down. During his first year in office, Trump had blocked over 1,500 Obama-era rules that were in the pipeline to be imposed on Americans. He’d also begun the hard work of getting rid of rules that were already in place. By the end of his presidency, Trump had gotten rid of 4.3 rules for every new one his administration enacted.
Joe Biden is reversing that trend. Not only is he set to go on a regulatory spree, Issues and Insights writes that one of his first Executive Orders – Modernizing Regulatory Review – is set to make regulations more onerous than ever before:
Biden’s order – which didn’t get released to the press until late in the evening of his first day – aims to effectively toss the cost-benefit analysis that for many decades has served as at least a modest brake on the ambitions of regulators. In the past, regulations where the cost of compliance far exceeded the benefits could be stymied by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
Biden wants the review process instead to be “a tool to affirmatively promote regulations” and “to ensure swift and effective federal action” on everything from the pandemic, to the economy, to racial inequality, to the “undeniable reality and accelerating threat of climate change.” In other words … everything.
Clyde Wayne Crews, a regulation expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said that Biden’s order is “likely to do away with cost-benefit analysis by elevating unquantifiable aims as benefits and deny costs of regulation altogether.” In doing so, it will “put weight on the scales of whether or not to regulate such that the answer will always be in the affirmative.”
We can now expect a level of regulation similar to that in the European Union. That bureaucratic monstrosity regulates every aspect of life, from the balloons children may play with to the size of kiwis. Indeed, some of you may remember that, in 2008, a British grocer was blocked from selling 5,000 kiwis that were one millimeter smaller than the regulations allowed.
Welcome to Biden’s America. You’re going to hate it here.
IMAGE: Biden signing executive orders. Rumble screengrab.