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  • Have You Been Negatively Affected by Regulatory Overreach? Tell Us About It

    Stories are powerful. They help us relate to other individuals and communicate complex issues. They are an essential ingredient to making policy change in Washington. That’s why we’re asking for your help.

    The Heritage Foundation is seeking examples of individuals, entrepreneurs and business owners who have been negatively affected by the federal government’s regulatory overreach. We want to spotlight Americans’ experiences with Washington’s red tape. You can help us by filling out the form below.

    Our goal at Heritage is to reduce government interference and eliminate unwarranted government intrusion into the economy.

    We can fight back against the federal Leviathan with your help. If you know of an actual example of the negative consequences of regulation, tell us. Or if you have heard a story we should investigate, please share it as well.

    Here are some examples of regulatory horror stories we’ve already featured:

    Please fill out the form below to share your story. You can also contact us at scribe@heritage.org.


    Posted in Featured, Obamacare, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to Have You Been Negatively Affected by Regulatory Overreach? Tell Us About It

    1. ejj98765 says:

      Regulations, like laws, are enacted a lot of times because "a bad apple spoils the bunch". The group must be punished for the sins/mistakes of a few. But like gun laws, one has to wonder if a bad actor's conduct were able to be stopped if the regulations and laws were in place before the activity took place? In some cases yes, many others no. So, I am not opposed to all regulation – I am opposed to organizational stupidity which often occurs as governments implement their regulations. Make regulations pragmatic, fair, and flexible, and create/implement them only if absolutely necessary.

    2. jeff hallman says:

      Who hasn't been affected by regulatory overreach. Incandescent bulbs will soon be gone and I can't think of much that isn't regulated in one way or another. I also believe overregulation is resulting in higher fuel prices! We're screwed!

    3. Becca says:

      There used to be trails open to ATVs all over Cedar Mtn. Near Cedar City, Utah. These roads were all old mining, ranching and livestock trails. The Forest Service has slowly been destroying, blocking these trails for several years. Now they've even closed major dirt roads to ATVs AND even to some street legal vehicles. Recreational vehicle operators bring money into the area and help sustain the economy but with those roads closed, the area is no longer attractive to them.

    4. Peter S. Werle says:

      I am 71 years old and do not take prescription drugs. When I first signed up with Medicare I could get prescription drug coverage for under $7.00 per month even though I do not take prescription drugs. When premiums doubled the next year, I dropped the coverage. In 2011 I enrolled in a Medicare Advantage program which automatically included prescription drug coverage. In July, I received a letter from the Dept. of Health and Human Services saying that because I did not have "credible" coverage for 48 months I was being fined a lump-sum of $139.50 and $15.50 per month for late enrollment as long as I am on Medicare. It means that if I live to be 90, I will pay over $3,500 in late-enrollment penalties. My initial reaction was disbelief. My appeal was rejected. I wrote to Sen. Patty Murray and Maria Cantell and never heard back from them. I wrote Congressman Jay Insley whose office did respond basically saying there was nothing they could do about it. I find the whole thing to be a big bureaucratic nightmare, absurd and unbelievable that a government would do something like this, then do nothing about it.
      Peter S. Werle
      Seabeck, WA

    5. Eric says:

      I am one of the 5 million expat Americans who keep paying taxes to the US Government. The US is the only country in the world that taxes its citizens based on their nationality, not residency. Now we are faced with another stupid piece of legislation introduced by this Obama Administration. It is called FATCA or Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Fatca requires foreign banks to report US account holders to the IRS starting 2013. We already fill out the FBAR forms with the same info. My bank has told me that I will have to cancel my investment account because of FATCA. If anything will damage US exports it is these ludicrous laws. FATCA must therefore be repealed and so are any other pieces of legislation that will restrict exports and jobs.

    6. DAVID M. MCCUE says:


    7. Robert Griffith says:

      I started a family business jan. 1 of 1985. My wife,my daughter,and my son all helped at one time or another. This business just happened to be a gun shop which I took from nothing to support my family for almost 25 years. In 2008 we were attacked by the ATF for little mistakes in our paper work. The people that were making the decisions on my future didn't know the difference between a black powder rifle and a regular centerfire rifle. They made more mistakes in their audit than I did in 24 years of constantly changing rules on our forms for selling firearms,form 4473. These people shut our family business down because of a few mistakes,nothing of significance. This is Tyranny. My wife and I our in our late 50,s so our dreams of a good retirement went down the tubes from decisions by incompetents.

    8. Leon Lundquist says:

      The Federal Government Agencies acting against the Law is nothing unusual. My Grandpa was attacked by confiscatory Capital Gains tax, survived that, only to be put out of business by FDR. They nullified his Contract by Fiat and without redress to Court, just like the Bond Holders at GM. My Mom lost her Higher Education. Now! I was a genius, the Great Society got ahold of me and I got nothing! No help into College despite my through the roof SATs. I have been False Prosecuted numerous times. The very worst I was a Handgun Hero who actually saved lives, but I was destroyed for it. For saving lives! These Progressives are Lawless! Obama is a gangster, we have Gangster Government just like Michele Bachmann said. Prosecute them! EPA should be Abolished, but right now Defund them for their obvious crimes. No! Government Agencies are not above the Law!

    9. Seattle Appraiser says:

      As a Real Estate Appraiser I have personally seen the impact on my industry by the smoke screen regulations know as Home Value Code of Conduct or HVCC which attempted to lay blame on the appraisal industry for misguided congressional regulations of lenders in the past. What this dandy piece of do-gooder regulations did was put the focus on the appraisers instead of real culprits.
      How it effected us, in a nut shell, is that is took away our client base, resulting in tremendous financial loss to small business men who essentially closed the door on years of a professional career. HVCC put a 3rd party management entity (Appraisal Management Companies or AMC) between lenders and appraisers who charged a FEE to APPRAISER for the opportunity to work, AND dictate what we can charge.
      ****Get this, at this time LENDERS own those AMC's! Think about it!

    10. It is the Unelected government that causes problems. They are doing the will of Obama. and the green energy is all they will pour money in wasting billions It will be interesting to see how long it will take for a real recovery. The government is now a drag on the economy by all the rules and regulations and road blocks to the free market unless it is considered a Politically correct company. Or Politically Connected.

    11. Bill & Norm says:

      After living in our home for over 50 years without any problems, we are required by law to have a Carbon Dioxide detector. We can not longer purchase incandescent light bulbs but have to purchase much more expensive fixtures. These new light fixtures do not seem to produce the same amount of light when compared to an equivalent rated incandescent bulb. Some of these new fixtures use mercury. There are many more examples.
      Get the government out of our life and quite telling me how they want me to live.

    12. Staunton Stu says:

      Seattle's right but barely scrapes the surface. The Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act sunset the HVCC, but not it's provisions, so the result of the HVCC lives on in Dodd-Frank. The Federal Reserve, charged with writing regulations under Dodd-Frank, went on to misinterpret the Act, permitting AMCs to predominantly pay less than half of what is considered reasonable for an appraisal. Clearly, professionals with years of time and money invested in their businesses will not accept such nonsense, leaving the less experienced, less invested folks to be the stewards of whatever remains of the taxpayers' faith in FNMA. Without the benefit of experience, these newer appraisers are unable to mount supportable, reasonable arguments against unreasonable, often illegal, client demands, and succumb to them, jeopardizing the credibility of their work.

      FNMA's UDCP program appears to only serve to allow FNMA to mine data from appraisal reports submitted by appraisers, resulting in circumstances where appraisers are contributing to their own demise, as the mining of this data for future use could allow FNMA to create its own valuations without the benefit of a disinterested, unbiased third party. Finally, D-F requires appraisers to be reported to the appropriate enforcement agency when a lender believes an appraiser has violated USPAP (professional appraiser standards), but provides no requirement that the reporting entity be sufficiently knowledgeable about USPAP to make a credible report, resulting in frivolous, wasteful claims.

      The AMCs, encouraged by the HVCC and Dodd-Frank, serve only their own interests, and the Justice Dept appears unwilling to act to force actions otherwise, as evidenced in the Robo-signing cases thus far. Independent appraisers lack proper funding to mount any fight. Fannie is too concerned with covering its own rear to provide adequate leadership. Borrowers are forced to pay excessive fees for AMC profits. And the taxpayer is more vulnerable than in the period leading up to the last Wall St bailout.

    13. Bobbie says:

      Government regulations regarding their overreach? In education government regulations are disabling the minds of the youth. Social indoctrination is teaching personal opinion over fact and one reason I stopped working to teach my children the difference between public education and truth with facts inviting them to form their own opinions. Government regulations has deprived my husbands business from giving rightful cost of living raises and diminished their pay for performance policy. The company used to launder his work clothes which they can no longer afford so that's more cost and work on us. Health Insurance costs have tripled the co-pays, including all medical costs. My husband has an hourly non union wage where the sales reps are union so there is discrimination when unions exist only for some. Non union workers take the heat so the union members are pampered getting their unreasonable way. My husband gets 10 days of paid vacation and federal holidays off. I have a condition that sets me back from time to time. I use to go to the hospital by suggestion of my doctor. Forget that BS. My husband will take as many days off as needed because hospital costs are more than twice the number of paid days he gives up to personally care for me.
      I recover quicker as I'm in my own environment and hospitals have become so unhealthy and neglectful. I've witnessed this in horror!

      My husband gets NONE of the fringe benefits government helps themselves to off our backs. Property taxes make no sense to be increasing when fannie and freddie gave privilege to ownership under different sets of rules but should have logically offset any property tax increases. We're charged twice a year for frivolous assessment issues that are corrupt. not to mention the regulation on foods and agriculture causing higher costs. Please keep in mind no increase to our household income forced my husband to pull from his retirement account for a car we were without and to keep us above water. That was obama's first year.

      Government regulations has cost us sky rocketing increase to our energy costs where some get into a program that pays their usage for them. we continue to pull from our retirement, we pay with our money that the government gets paid 10% for nothing on their part, just penalized for taking it out early to pay the bills of government abuse of authority and their overreach, that is not within our control. people will suggest borrowing but that makes no sense when we have no disposable income to pay it back on a month to month basis. Our retirement isn't going to last forever so if nothing changes we'll get to see the welcome mat of government! Please change this now, where everyone is accountable to their own and no rule accommodates anyone over anyone else in regard to race, creed or culture. Where all the government filth demands cost of living their job performance reflects no deservedness of is taking away the costs of living to those that do deserve them. The government protects themselves from the consequences their unconstitutional governing is dumping on us!!!!!!

      We always plan on getting ahead, but the government is putting us in poverty and are in it for themselves dumping more of everyone elses "wants" on our bill.

      One more thing regarding "want" and "need." Seems the social mindset is deranging the term "want" as a "need" but this is wrong. A "want" is a desire to have which common people of good nature, work to achieve without infringing on anyone. A "need" is a necessity to survive which common people of good nature achieve without outside control of government and within their own personal realm of resources.

    14. Bobbie says:

      another thing, the dodd-frank game forcing us to make 15 bank transactions a month! For no reason!! Talk about overreach, $10 penalty if we don't comply, no excuse if we can't. Where's this money going? total undeserving punishment! UnAmerican! I don't care who's behind it besides the titled. We did nothing to deserve these burdensome policies! Inconvenient and contentious when we have no money! American government wants to dilute the dollar at our cost.

      In reference to previous comment to mention the retirement we're forced to take from to keep above water penalized by the arm of government at 10% is put into the household income bracket putting us in a higher tax bracket! this President serves us no favor. we aren't one of his "special interests" of which he solely serves unconstitutionally, with our money.

    15. A Lynn says:

      I was a small business owner and employer. I used my own start-up capital, built out a commercial space and ran a profit from month 4. I never needed business loans, which I'm grateful I never tapped now. Subsidies and incentives were provided for larger firms to ship IP and industry overseas while burdening me domestically with high taxes, huge accounting, rules, licensing, specialty program costs, insurance requirements and record keeping burdens were basically driving me out of business. Eventually, the influx of non-US citizens, who were, in fact, highly trained and skilled were able to offer services without any of my overhead – they were off-book. That triangulation of pressures closed my business and laid off my employees. I wasn't the only one. The entire industry was hit here. The businesses we served were hit as well in similar ways. We all worked so hard. We were a great value service for brand marketing, multimedia, packaging and design. So much for "globalization." I was hoping that wouldn't be a one-directional proposition, since it sounded so nice. Personally, I was amazed after closing shop and getting a ride to my downsized new life, office plant in hand, from an "off-book," non-citizen competitor in my former building, "You should settle down and have babies! We're expecting our third." I replied, "Congratulations. I had always wanted to, but couldn't afford a child." I was audited by the IRS that year. All my records were well-kept, sound and just fine, but the irony of it all stuck with me and always will. Perfect storm.

    16. Jus u Wait says:

      In 1998 my family owned a business that employed 34 people and in doing so, supported Taxes and Regulation by the City, County, State, Labor Board, Health Department, Liquor, Tobacco, Gaming Board, District Attorney Child Support Services, and that doesn't even begin to count the number of vendors we used to buy our product that was sold to our customers nor the cost of maintenance and utilities. We paid over $250,000 in taxes in less than 2 years and never turned a profit for ourselves but we lost $500,000 of our own money trying to keep up and the IRS still wanted their $60,000 after BK.
      In 2005-2006 I can definitely confirm Staunton Stu's statement about the appraisal industry. I worked with a lot of appraisers and I think that only 1-2 may still be in the city employed as appraisers. The work is now mined out to Real Estate Agents at $75 each who are not required to understand or be trained on the URAR or USPAP which defines the grounds of a real estate appraisal for a big discounted price. Professional Appraisers were run out of their industry by finger pointers who only needed to point the blame and then Big Govt. immediately stepped in to make a mockery of the system.

    17. Jus u Wait says:

      Part II Housing and Small Business: The next step after wiping out appraisers was to point the finger at Loan Officers and many people still think it was them that created this mess, more band wagon finger pointing. What they don't understand is that banks sold that Adjustable product and they sold it at steep discounts to the interest rate. So which would you choose? A 30 year fixed at 8% paying nothing but interest for the first 5 years or an adjustable at 6% in an increasing market? It's easy to say the 30 year fixed now while prices are stagnant or dropping but back then it would have cost you about $400 more per month and that is a car payment or a family grocery bill. For all of those people complaining that people shouldn't have lived outside their means, you must be from a state where there was little to no increase in the cost of living because it was dramatic here. Judge not lest the be judged. Over 40,000 loan officers, additional thousands of appraisers, and tens of thousands of real estate agents lost their businesses and because they were self empoyed small business owners they do not show up on unemployment because they do not qualify.

    18. Jus u Wait says:

      Part III Recent legislation in NV and CA requires banks to prove they own the notes before they can foreclose. So what did the banks do when they could not prove it? They now offer a pilot program in which the homeowner gives property back and then rents it back from the bank bypassing foreclosure laws, costs, and cutting out the remaining people still employed in real estate. It's not a bad deal actually but it is the very heart of what the banks were denying us all in their rush to throw us out of our homes and resell them while collecting the mortgage insurance and bailouts paid for by the public.Now the DOW is above 13,000 but my stock portfolio is down 40%. I can tell you that the TARP money did not go into loans for the public but investment stock of the largest banks did improve dramatically even while their mortgage divisions went down like the Titanic. Strange, don't you think?
      Thanks for reading, I found all of your stories interesting and I feel for all of you. I know that if we pull together we can get back what we have lost. Don't give in to the blamers, whiners, and nanny staters.
      "Do not go gently into the night…"

    19. redstorm_ says:

      I think ALL OF US are affected daily…it's not just business owners and corporations but we as individuals are saddled with high costs directly related to government intrusion into our lives and the products/services we use on a daily basis. If it wasn't for government overreaching its authority as granted by the Constitution most Americans would be living prosperous and enjoyable lives rather than working to pay the government and the endless spending frenzy that we see now. Let's hope we can reverse this course quickly come November and hold the next President AND Congress accountable.

    20. Cindy Schumacher says:

      My sister and I remodel houses in our community and have been successful re-building older homes in our neighborhood. We consider it the ultimate recycling endeavor but the EPA has new rules about how any home that is pre-1978 has to be mitigated for lead paint. The method is onerous and if you are caught not performing to their strict guidelines you can be fined 34k the first day and every day thereafter that you are out of compliance. Each piece of wood that is removed from a completely plastic encapsulated work environment must be wrapped in plastic and taken to landfill. It has to be hepa-vacuumed with laborers wearing mask and suits which must be worn in the heat which could actually kill someone here in Texas. The ADA and Energy Code regulations have made the construction cost skyrocket while real-estate values are losing ground. It has become almost impossible to make a living in construction considering the risk.

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