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  • Debate Analysis: Did Regulation Quadruple Under Obama? The Numbers Say Yes

    Regulatory policy made a cameo appearance in last night’s presidential debate when Governor Mitt Romney took aim at the Obama Administration’s penchant for making rules.

    “Regulations have quadrupled,” Romney said. “The rate of regulations quadrupled under this President.”

    The assertion led to a mini-controversy this morning over the Obama regulatory record. Left-leaning blogger Andrew Sullivan, Salon.com, and the Huffington Post all jumped in to argue that there has been no such increase in regulation. Obama, in fact, has imposed fewer new regulations than did Bush, they claim.

    But they are wrong, and Romney was right.

    The number cited by Romney comes from Heritage’s most recent “Red Tape Rising” report, which compared the number and cost of major regulations during the first three years of President Obama’s Administration to the first three years under President George W. Bush.

    In terms of total rulemakings, Obama’s total was almost equal to Bush’s—at 10,215 and 10,674, respectively. But most analysts recognize that these gross figures mean little, because most regulations are routine actions, such as aviation maintenance bulletins and fishing season limits.

    Far more telling are the numbers of “major” rules: those that will cost the private sector $100 million or more each year. We found that 106 such major new regulations have been adopted during the Obama years, compared to 28 under Bush—a ratio of 3.8 to 1. In terms of cost, Obama’s rules imposed some $46 billion in additional annual burdens, compared to $8.1 billion in new costs during the first three Bush years, a whopping 5.6 to 1 ratio.

    These numbers should not be surprising: President Obama has hardly been shy about making the case for increased regulation, and the record reflects that. Governor Romney was right to point that out.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Debate Analysis: Did Regulation Quadruple Under Obama? The Numbers Say Yes

    1. Your Inner Voice says:

      I’m SO sorry to bring this up, but…

      Our Congress, from whence ALL monies flow for ANY gov’t action/expenditure has been REPUBLICAN for two years. They are handing out our money with which we are being enslaved, not the commie-lib Dems. Any penny that gets spent came from JOHN BOEHNER and his lackies that we elect and re-elect.

      Liberal-tarian posers aside, the Dead Elephant Party is a party to our national bankruptcy to letting this Cloward-Piven administration working the downfall of the nation go about their crimes unpunished, and only barely opposed.

    2. Tom Sullivan says:

      Regulations are terribly important, but the costs are relatively unknown. Federal regulation compliance cost about $1.75 trillion per year in 2008, according to the SBA study by Crain & Crain (2010). State and local regulation costs are unknown. Beyond the direct compliance costs each year, regulations shape the direction of our economy and its growth rate.

      The total cost of all government police, fire/rescue, courts and jails/prisons is about $330 billion per year. The cost of regulation compliance could be something like 8 times that amount. Is our nation really so dangerous that we must spend vastly more on regulations than on all our civil protection services?

    3. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      How many new regs are waiting to be unleashed if Obama is re-elected?

      Regardless of who is elected next month, or who has ever been President, the legislative branch has delegated far too much rule-making authority to the executive branch. The least they could do is sunset all of their regs as some check on federal reach into state and citizen authority.

    4. Russ Ramey says:

      Part of the deadening hand of government…if you want less of something tax and uber regulate it, more then subsidize it…

    5. Bobbie says:

      job loss wouldn't exist if these regulations didn't. irrational regulations that invite government control or not, shows a President who despises the free market enterprise!!!!!!!

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