• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Economically Significant Regulations On the Rise Under Obama

    President Obama claims he’s overseen the creation fewer regulations than his predecessors. But his administration has actually issued far more expensive and economically costly regulations, adding billions of dollars in compliance costs for businesses and job creators. The red tape is documented in a new report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

    Next week the House takes up the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act, which includes seven measures that would ease the government’s growing burden on businesses and the economy.

    The report cites a Gallup poll from earlier this year that found 46 percent of small business owners are not hiring because they are worried about new government regulations, and 48 percent say they are worried about the potential costs of health care.

    Homeowners are also being affected by new regulations. In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency removed an opt-out provision for its Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. The rule requires that renovations to homes built before 1978 be supervised by an EPA-certified renovator and performed by an EPA-certified firm.

    According to the report, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) says the elimination of the opt-out has led homeowners to explore underground contractors that do not comply with EPA regulations at all, and that the opt-out had saved the industry approximately $500 million in compliance costs.

    In addition to current regulations, the report found that proposed regulations continue to generate uncertainty and could result in significant additional costs to the economy.

    The EPA is proposing to redefine “solid waste,” removing specific recycling exclusions from current hazardous waste regulations. As a result, the regulations would even apply to in-house recycling intended for internal use, such as scrap metal yards recycling scrap metal. The Business Roundtable estimates the rule will cost more than $100 million annually in documentation and analysis costs, making it more expensive for businesses to recycle.

    According to the NFIB, the EPA is also proposing to expand the definition of “navigable waters” to include depressions and farm ponds that don’t impede the flow of rivers, giving the agency greatly expanded regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act.

    Other proposed regulations would advance the administration’s pro-union agenda while ignoring union political activity.

    Last year, the National Labor Relations Board issued a final rule requiring employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act to post a notice of employee rights under the law. The notice focuses on employee rights to unionize and collectively bargain, but doesn’t include rights to object to the use of union dues to support political causes. According to the NLRB’s own estimates, the rule could cost 6 million employers an estimated $386.4 million. Much of the rule has been blocked by courts, but business organizations remain concerned about the implications that could result if it is allowed to move forward.

    In total, The Heritage Foundation has calculated that the Obama administration adopted 106 major regulations in its first three years. That’s nearly four times the 28 major regulations adopted in the first three years of the Bush administration. Those regulations came at a cost of $8.1 billion, compared to the $46 billion imposed under Obama by the same point in his presidency.

    Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) said the report explains why job creators are struggling to put Americans back to work under an increasing regulatory burden.

    “Our government can create the environment for the private sector to grow jobs. But under this administration, it won’t. Small businesses, and not the government, are the primary driver of job creation in this country,” Issa said. “This report explains why job creators say they are struggling to put Americans back to work under an ever increasing regulatory burden.”

    Tray Smith is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Economically Significant Regulations On the Rise Under Obama

    1. guest says:

      EPA should be castrated, the first of several agencies. I agree that there should be some GUIDANCE and regulations but for the government to tell the states with all with different environmental conditions and push their regulations down to the individual, telling them what they can and can't do on their own property when it doesn't affect others and imply that “one size fits all” is stupid, expensive and shows that those in Washington are out of touch. These agency employees should all go back to the private sector and TRY to get and hold a job without being fired within their first 30 days for incompetence.

    2. charlie4cat says:

      He doesn't have the authority to issue any regulations whatsoever:

      BREAKING! Washington Times Columnist – Jeff Kuhner: Ballistic Over Arpaio Investigation! => bit.ly/NOK1AJ

    3. Lawrence Neumann says:

      The only true intent is for Obama to become his supreme highness Obama the omnipotent the same as Assad i Syria

    4. Bobbie says:

      How is this beneficial to America? Irrationalities and those that impose them are worth NOTHING to America's RECOVERY. Adding to the problems started by government intervention IS NOT working on SOLUTIONS! This contradicts Obama's suggestion that government gets people anywhere WITHOUT GOVERNMENT!

      having to wait for someone to hold your hand to cross the street, arrested if you don't…

    5. irishseamoss says:

      Just the cost to contractors for these regulations is insurmountable. A licensed builder needs to pay to attend seminars for license endorsements, pay for the license endorsement, i.e. lead and window removal, they need a special permit and they have to pay for special waste handling. This is all passed on to the homeowner. These contractors are literally fed up with all of these new regulations. It is difficult to track and more costly in terms of documentation. In short, some of them just don't bother, some of them go ahead and subvert the law because they are rightly pissed off. What happened to the day when a skilled tradesman with a reputation for quality could come in and do a good job without all the paperwork, going through commission hearings, and paying municipalities all of these fees. Just the permit process in some states cost $10,000 and up to $70,000 in California. 20 years ago you could build a luxury home for that price. Now you can't even start a home unless you are wealthy. My brother will not do any work associated with the new regulations. He will not build another new home. He sticks with additions and remodeling on homes that are less than 30 years old. You wonder why America is so screwed up….government bureaucrats and regulation.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.