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  • Tales of the Red Tape #30: FTC Sticks It to Appliance Makers

    The Dodd–Frank financial strangulation statute transferred a portion of the duties once performed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That’s left the FTC to tap its $292 million budget and 1,176 full-time employees for devising stricter regulation of…appliance labels. Specifically, the agency intends … More

    Secretary Chu’s $10 Million Fiasco

    During a hearing last week of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Wyoming Senator John Barrasso (R) asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu a seemingly simple question: “(D)o you think a $50 light bulb is affordable for American families?” “No, absolutely not,” Chu replied. Well, if that’s the case, why did … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #29: Drowning in New Regulations

    Some 120 regulations taking effect in the past year require enhanced accommodations for disabled individuals at 65 different types of public and private facilities—encompassing 7 million privately owned sites and 80,000 units of state and local government—including stadiums; convention centers; auditoriums; airport terminals; public parking facilities; theaters and concert halls; … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #28: Simplifying Insurance a la Obamacare

    Obamacare requires health insurance companies to produce a summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) based on a government-imposed template and glossary. Below is a sampling of the requirements (70 pages) concocted by the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury to simplify the task. The summary of … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #27: Don’t Dress Grandma!

    The bosses at the Department of Labor (DOL) have decided that federal wage and overtime provisions should not apply when grandma’s “companion” assists her with toileting. Moreover, said companion is exempt from the regulations as long as he or she sticks to playing cards, watching television, or engaging in hobbies … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #26: Taxpayers Finance Rat Condos

    Millions of American homeowners face foreclosure, but at least one sort of housing crisis has been remedied: No longer will research rats suffer the indignities of crowded cages. That is to say that the federal government has ordered labs to provide precisely measured living quarters for all rodents used in … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #25: EEOC Disables Employers

    A high school diploma has long served as the most basic requirement for an entry-level job (notwithstanding declining standards in government schools). But now comes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) declaring that a sheepskin prerequisite constitutes discrimination. In the opinion of the vaunted EEOC Legal Counsel staff, requiring a … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #24: Breeding Extinction

    Ranchers have been allowed to stock zoos and wildlife refuges and export the animals to their native lands without seeking government approval at every turn. The agency also allowed them to generate some of the revenue needed to feed and vaccinate the herds by holding private hunts of surplus, older, non-breeding animals, as well as those with poor genetic traits. But such “profiteering”—even in support of animal rescue—was anathema to Friends of Animals, a group that claims “to cultivate a respectful view of nonhuman animals.” More

    Obama Confirms Unaccountability of Consumer Bureau

    By circumventing the lawful confirmation process, President Obama’s attempted “recess appointment” today of Richard Cordray to direct the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) demonstrates the very unaccountability that pervades the agency and requires reform. Although operational now, the CFPB has been largely confined to enforcing existing regulations, without authority to … More

    Tales of the Red Tape #23: Internal Revenue Scam

    The straight text of the U.S. tax code exceeds 5,000 pages. Throw in the annotations necessary to actually decipher the thing and it swells beyond 72,000 pages. (Instructions for filing the “EZ” form run 41 pages.) All of which will yield a whopping $2.6 trillion in federal tax receipts (estimated) … More