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  • Morning Bell: Red Tape Rising

    Next January the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to issue new regulations on emissions from boilers used in facilities like oil refineries, paper mills, and shopping malls. The EPA claims their new regulations will only cost the economy $9.5 billion by 2013. But the American Chemistry Council says the cost will surpass $20 billion and kill 800,000 jobs. Who is right? We don’t know. But what we do know is that if you total up all of the new regulations already passed by the Obama administration last year, using their own cost estimates, fiscal 2010 saw the largest increase in regulatory burdens placed on the U.S. economy in the nation’s recorded regulatory history.

    According to a report released last month by the Small Business Administration, existing total regulatory costs already amount to about $1.75 trillion annually. This “hidden tax” on the economy is nearly twice as large as the sum of all individual income taxes collected last year. Adding to this burden, federal agencies promulgated 43 new rules during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010. The total cost of these rules, each one individually calculated by the Obama administration itself, was $28 billion. Only two of these new rules reduced measured regulatory costs, and then by only $1.5 billion. On net, the Obama administration inflicted $26.5 billion in new regulatory costs on the economy last year. The biggest costs last year all came from the EPA including:

    • Fuel economy and emission standards for passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles. Annual cost: $10.8 billion.
    • Mandated quotas for renewable fuels. Annual cost: $7.8 billion.
    • Efficiency standards for residential water heaters, heating equipment, and pool heaters. Annual cost: $1.3 billion.
    • Limits on “effluent” discharges from construction sites imposed by the EPA. Annual cost: $810.8 million.

    As high as this $26.5 billion total is, as the above boiler example shows, the actual costs of all these new regulations is almost certainly much higher. First, the cost of non-economically significant rules—rules deemed not likely to have an annual impact of $100 million or more—is not calculated. Second, no costs were given for 12 of the rules that were deemed economically significant. But most importantly, the costs that were given are likely minimized because the regulators are allowed to generate the cost of their own regulations. A 2005 Office of Management and Budget Report to Congress found that regulators underestimated the costs of their rules 34% of the time.

    As bad as last year’s rising tide of red tape was it does not hold a candle to the tsunami of regulation the Obama administration is planning to inflict on the U.S. economy during their final two years in office. The 2,319 page financial regulation bill requires 243 new formal rule-makings by 11 different federal agencies. The 2,700 page Obamacare bill contains more than 1,000 instances where Congress instructed HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to regulate the health care industry. And the Federal Communications Commission is considering implementing, for the first time in the history of the internet, “net neutrality” regulations that will undermine investment incentives, thereby robbing the nation of much-needed broadband upgrades.

    The left likes to peddle the myth that President George Bush deregulated much of the U.S. economy. But this is just plain false. By every objectively measurable metric, the size and scope of the regulatory state grew significantly under his tenure. But President Obama’s regulatory regime is currently rising at more than twice the rate as President Bush’s did. No wonder our nation’s job creators can’t help us escape near double digit unemployment.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    40 Responses to Morning Bell: Red Tape Rising

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      Is the GOP the party of – Destruction or Obstruction?

    2. Barb in the Heartlan says:

      It is very disturbing that Obama just keeps bypassing Congress with his mandates and destructive plans for America via his agencies and czars. He has total disregard for the Constitution that he swore to uphold at inauguration. He should be impeached and swiftly. Then prosecute him for abuse of power and other high crimes and misdemeanors.

    3. Spiff, USA says:

      The obvious is that the bigger the Government that Obama can create, new laws and restrictions require more enforcers and administration personnel, the more votes he will acquire – one will be either working for the Government, or, in his world, against it…

      Spiff

    4. Bob Godwin, Jarretts says:

      Eliminating the EPA should be a step taken by the conservatives elected this time and next time. That unit of the massive federal bureaucracy does little for the environment, but major damage to the economy.

    5. Chuckwagonchuckie2u, says:

      All a part of the redistribution of wealth and the next step in establishing Socialism in the U.S.. Just wait until private business cannot fire individuals after their 90 day grace period.

    6. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      "NPR was biased"

      Can YOU imagine?

      We are SURE Glad that the HF is Not,

      but hold on.

      HF, WSJ, and FOX are the Voice of the GOP.

    7. Chas, Santa Rosa, Ca says:

      How much do traffic lights cost our economy? All that idling of engines and wasting gas. The govt. controls our lives with traffic lights. We need to get rid of them. Deregulate traffic lights.

    8. B. Hall Syosset N.Y. says:

      Why didn't voters believe obama when he said he would fundamentaly change the United States? He is fullfilling a campaign promise. If the dems remain in control of congress this country will be changed beyond recognition.

    9. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Only 9.5 Billion ???? As if this is chump change. When did a billion dollars become inconsequential?

      If you have not already watched the You-Tube video on ObamaCare br Dr, David Janda I implore you to do so. While the left will label it "fear mongering" I label it "the truth."

      But then, conservatives are now "the enemy" as declared by the POTUS yesterday. I never considered myself a threat to freedom just a patriotic citizen of the US.

    10. Richie Naples says:

      The only problem is how does this get fixed. Obama just does not need congress

      to put his plan into play. He will cost Americans a lot of money. We will wonder why

      all things will go up and this will be the reason. It is a shame the American public

      does not realize what he is doing to America. This should be a top headline but

      it won't be.

    11. JULIE, OHIO says:

      Hopefully with all the education and research the Heritage provides to us will be passed along thru any means to get the word out. We are really on the edge here with the obama agenda GET OUT AND VOTE.

    12. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      Is there anyone who still doesn't believe that Obama and all other Progressive Socialists are determined to destroy Capitalism in the USA?

      All of the weight of their destructive measues fall onto the Consumer, who mean nothing more to them than a source of labor and taxes, much like a herd of animals who are driven until they die!

      What a deceitful Cad sits in the Oval office. Those who disapprove of his intentions and actions, yet think they 'like him' as a person?- need to get their heads examined.

      To paraphrase Forrest Gump: " Bad is as bad does."

      OBAMA is a BAD man: for you, for me and for the entire Coubtry!

    13. Anita Metairie says:

      This is one program the EPA that needs it's power curbed. They could cut this program out altogether. It's useless and too political. They should be controlled by the people not have unlimited power to do whatever they want. In other words any program or restrictions they want to impose on Americans should be approved by Congress. Like this if We The People don't like what Congress is doing, we can vote them out of office just like we are going to don on 11-2-10.

    14. Dr. John Holmes, Ass says:

      ACSI is attempting to find out what effect these new EPA regs may have on religious schools, charter schools and churches in old buildings. If they are so-regulated this could KILL many small entities! Dr. John Holmes, ACSI

    15. Edward Kimble, 46725 says:

      Inefficiency in residential heating and lighting is in the form of heat, which for northern climate homes, is necessary 9 months of the year. Add the cost of cleaning up the added poisons of mercury, phosphors, printed circuit boards, solder, ceramic, plastics, and copper for CFL and LED devices and the costs are significant. As of January 1, 2011, new regulations on CO2 emissions begin, For many multinational companies this will mean moving out of the US to Mexico or Canada. For others it will mean slow painful death at the hands of "oh-so-caring" regulators.. Technically speaking, after January 1, it will be illegal to breathe or shake your soda pop (you evil CO2 person you). This sounds funny unless you are a dairy farm or chicken production facility, why people are exempted is a mystery, maybe 2012..

    16. Paul Rinderle says:

      Heritage has addressed the issues of overcriminalization or "arresting America".

      Now we have overregulation or "eliminating your job".

    17. Bruce J. Kolinski says:

      If "WE THE PEOPLE" don't put a stop to this; we are just plain foolish…and unfortunately our generation will have handed a permanent future of indentured servitude to our kids.

      Are we going down in history as "The Most Pathetic Generation"?

    18. toledofan says:

      Talk about a department gone wild. I think the Republicans are going to have a plate full after next week and there are so many important things that have to be addressed, like; healthcare, the budget, the deficeit, the spending, unemployment, housing, and the economy in general. I hope they have enough steam to defund the EPA, the Department of Education and some of the other liberal laced organizations that do more harm to America than good. I think that unless we are smart enough to give them control of everything and hold them accountable we are going to be stuck in the sand and won't be able to move forward. The Democrats have created a big mess and unless we the people start to fix it in November, it's not going to be fixed.

    19. Bernard P. Giroux, S says:

      The critical questions all of us have to ask ourselves: "How are we going to turn this battleship around? Who is going to lead the dismantling of the existing bureaucratic nightmare? Do the Republicans who may be elected next week understand that they are getting into office to change this country for the better and begin to minimize federal intrusion in our daily lives? Do they understand that it is not just the repeal of Obamacare that they are being elected for? Have those who may be elected to office next week read the Constitution? Do they understand it and how it applies to what exists today? And do they know that a pragmatic vision for the future must be dredged up from the floors of Congress based upon the principles of that document ?" We have a LOT of work to do, because no one has really been paying attention to what goes on in Washington. And remember, we need to vote in term limits.

    20. Suzanne-Florida says:

      The EPA is the undoing of our country as we know it. While you have written today about their power it gets worse. Although Cap & Trade is supposedly dead they still still pursuing a carbon agenda. They are going after fossil fuels from another direction . Coal, which fires the majority of our economy will be forced into new rules covering everything from more mercury and sulphur, ash and even water used to cool equipment, which will degrade the generating capacity of our electrical grid. The end result will be shutting down a large percentage of mines, brownouts and huge increases in electric rates.

      If the EPA & the WH has it's way we will rapidly become the third world country they hope for.

      Our only hope now is a change of congressional power in hopes that a new majority will have the interest of the country as a first priority rather than special interests which prevail now.

    21. Dennis Georgia says:

      It looks like obama can not out right give away this country, but will destroy it from within with all his BS regulations. Small business and big business have been regulated and taxed to death now, he has no incentive to bring any of this to a halt. The Republicans had better wake up and do something about this mess after the election. I do believe it is past time for term limits on all in Washington, they stay way to long and then believe they exist only for themselves, not for the people.

      VOTE ON NOVEMBER 2, AND STOP THIS KILLING OF AMERICA.

    22. Nancy Ziegler, Cinci says:

      How can we as citizens of the United States oversee and limit what the EPA is doing to our country? Can someone please help me understand who is behind their impetus?

    23. Geppetto, NC says:

      So what is being done about this? The EPA has been around a very long time and allowed to throw its weight around unimpeded by any consideration of the economic impacts that result from their rulings and regulations.

      By their reckoning Humans are not a part of nature; they are the destroyers of nature; case in point? In California, declaring the Delta Smelt, a small fish, an endangered species results in cutting off the water supply to one of Americas most productive farm lands and the effect on California and the nations economy and the livelihoods of tens of thousands of farm workers is not worthy of consideration. The fish deserves the full protection of the Federal Government; the people can go pound salt.

      A couple of videos on this issue:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igECfi6KnF0&fehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5fIfAFStoU

      This is infuriating but what is even more so is that it is not a revelation or new news and yet it goes on, unabated, year after year.

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    25. Don Harper says:

      A billion dollars became inconsequential when Obama started spending them the way George Bush spent millions.

    26. Norbert Stager, Ohio says:

      God Help Us!!! The Fed is printing billions of more money. If we can't reverse this current course our Republic is doomed. We must take back our country. We have people to do the job we need to get them elected.

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    28. Joe Mitchell says:

      Don't forget about the Lead Based paint regulations that will devalue older properties. For the environment, small children, and pregnant women …….or more control by gov't

    29. sue maxwell, Provo, says:

      http://www.believeallthings.com/1401/skull-bones/

      Although this video was made in 2004, I think that everyone would benefit from looking at it. It might help us to better understand what is going on right now. I was so startled when I watched the vidoes and read the information that my opinion on some people changed. I now wonder how much of what is going on in this country is connected with this secret societ- The Skull and Bones Society. The man who is being interviewed has researched this society and its active members and explains their tactice of gaining power through creating and managing conflict. It may now explain why we see such horrendous things happening under Obama. Sue

    30. William H. Taylor, S says:

      Has anyone estimated the cost if employing and housing enough Federal employees to tangle 1.75 Billion in red tape?

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    32. Mel Nelson, (Cary, N says:

      this is not reported on, not even Fox. What can be done to get this out to the people?

    33. Don, New York says:

      All the Red Tape means more high paid government workers to administer the regulations—just what this administration wants.

    34. rochelle, nashville says:

      Not mentioned are the new EPA regulations on renovations of homes built prior to 1978 containing lead based paint. These regulations were enacted with penalties for noncompliance to be levied even though there was inadequate communication of the new regulations to the industry and inadequate training available to become compliant with the regulations.

    35. Dr dbiggs.CA says:

      You Can LIE but can you READ?

      Invasion by illegal ie "Criminal Aliens"

      Mr/Mrs Politician:

      Obviously you have never read the United States Constitution or

      else feel that in your ivory tower and wealth that it does not apply to you!!

      I feel you need to read the following and act according to the peoples wish

      not your wishes or special interests wish list!

      There are three references to the words "invasions," "invaded," and

      "invasion" in our U.S. Constitution:

      Article I, Section 8: "The Congress shall have Power To Provide for calling

      forth the Militia to execute Laws of the Union, suppress

      insurrections and repel Invasions."

      Article I, Section 10:"No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any

      Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time

      of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with

      another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War,

      unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as

      will not admit of delay."

      Article IV, Section 4:"The United States shall guarantee to every State in the

      Union as Republican Form of Government, and shall

      protect each of them against invasion, and on

      Application of the Legislature, of of the Executive (when

      the Legislative cannot be convened) against domestic

      Violence."

      Your Oath of Office and sworn duties as referenced mean you must Act and

      put a Stop to the Invasion of all the Illegal immigrants we are experiencing.

      Our U.S. Constitution mandates that invasions shall be repelled by Congress.

      and that means the persons in the House of Representatives and the U.S.

      Senate. Our nation's sovereignty must be protected.

      How can you even stand in front of a mirror and even look yourself in the eyes

      knowing you are a "Bought & Paid Ho" for special interests and the

      Democratic Party Hacks? Tell me I am wrong, please because I fear for the

      future of our country as you certainly don't care about the people or our

      country!!

      You go to the SAME PLACE for LYING as you do for STEALING!!

    36. Tom, Pennsylvania says:

      the best way we could bring back the millions of jobs lost in the last 30 years and reduce our budget, as well as inspire American manufacturing and economic expansion would be to get rid of the EPA.

    37. Barry S, says:

      Read a 187-page 1994 book called "The Death of Common Sense," by Philip K. Howard. It reviews how America is drowning in law, legality, bureaucratic process and how we live in terror of the law, in awe of procedure and how we are at war with one another as a result. Did you know that even window cleaner used in a business requires MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) sheets to be issued by the seller and filed away by the business, and that virtually no one even reads the forms, even though they must be kept readily available at the business location just in case OSHA happens to make a surprise call and perhaps issue a citation for even an errant spider web on the ceiling.

      The book was written 16 years ago, and the regulatory nightmare is naturally even worse now. Naturally, the cost of 100% compliance (which is usuallly impossible) is passed on to us, the consumers. Read the book; it will blow you away.

    38. Barry S, says:

      Having had my own dental practice for 35 years, I used a high-quality dental prosthetics lab that operated out of Santa Rosa, California several years ago. The owner wanted to renovate the older two-story building. The top floor was easily accessed by a staircase. Regulations required that any renovation of these types of buildings used for business purposes included the placement of an elevator. In this case, customers of the lab were either dentists or dental assistants, neither of whom would have need to use an elevator.

      The building owner told me that he knew of no dental offices who employed any wheelchair-bound employees and, as such, he could see no reason to spend tens of thousands of dollars to build an elevator that would never be used. No matter, said the regulatory boys: no elevator=no renovation. The law applied equally to every business owner requiring renovation permits, and that no deviations were permitted, nor were variances available. As a result, the lab moved to a one-story building twenty miles away (at considerable cost, BTW). He ultimately had to raise his fees to his dentist clients, and as a result, fees by those dentists were ultimately passed down to patients.

      The end result was that the lab's dentist clients to require a 40-mile round trip each time a case had to be dropped off, then another 40-mile trip to have the case picked up, and extra time was required for the dental assistant to make the drive, requiring me to purchase extra insurance on the assistant in case she had an accident. I ultimately just spent my own time making the weekly trek.

    39. Barry S, says:

      Additionally, I remember that there was a new—at the time—ADA requirement that new dental offices or offices to be remodeled had to include a 3 or 4-foot aisle between the dental chair and any structures or obstructions on either side of the chair to provide room for wheelchair dental assistants. Naturally, as far as I know at this time, there are no wheelchair-bound dental assistants. Part of the job demands that they be able to take radiographs and complete other tasks that require standing or activities that would prevent use of a wheelchair. Naturally, the increased space requirements have made costs escalate if a dentist wants to renovate his office or if he wants to build a new office. Much space is wasted, not only for the dental health crew, but for wheelchair patients as well. In 35 years, we had only one wheelchair patient. He was a Denti-cal patient who always came with a

      helper to get him into our non-compliant bathroom and over our non-compliant curb in the parking lot. Of course, no helper was really required because the office staff could and would have helped the guy at any time. No matter. The ADA regulations require that any new medical-complex construction or individual offices that have been sold include wheelchair ramps with steel bannisters (approved by ADA, of course) be installed.

      The buyer of my office had to spend thousands of dollars to make the ADA-mandated changes, including a wheelchair ramp and adjacent bannister. He also had to include numerous changes within the office to satisfy the ADA, even though those changes would virtually never be used by either patients or employees. After we left, the medical plaza also had to make changes to the lighting of the parking lot and to the sidewalk curbs (to establish wheelchair ramps). The biggest problem in the minds of the individual owners within the medical complex was not primarily with the changes that required more immediate ADA compliance, but with the history of the ADA's constant changing their regulatory mandates. In other words, if changes are made today, who is to say that the ADA will be finally satisfied and not require that changes just made will be nullified in the future, requiring tearing down and rebuilding in compliance with those new mandates. The entire system of trying to comply with codes designed with such rigidity is nothing short of madness.

      I would have gladly paid to just hire a weight-lifter to pick up wheelchair patients and transport them right into the dental chair, but of course, this solution is too logical….at least for the ADA.

    40. Pingback: November 2 roundup

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