In his State of the Union Address earlier this year, President Obama claimed that his Administration has created fewer regulations than his predecessors.
But a new report issued by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee shows that Obama’s regulations have been more intrusive and have imposed far greater economic costs on businesses and job creators.
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.
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.
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.
Homeowners have also been affected by these 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.
Virtually all of these regulations are outside the delegated authority of the Federal Government’s “enumerated powers.”
In Federalist 45, James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” described the limited sway of federal power as compared with the States:
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce…. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.
In our day, however, the Federal Government claims sweeping authority over the internal affairs of every area of family and business.
Since at least 1996, the Republican Party National Platform has called for the “elimination of the Departments of Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Education, and Energy,” and other unconstitutional agencies, but the Bush Administration actually increased the size and scope of those agencies, allowing the Obama Administration to exploit those bureaucracies in pursuit of an even more consistently socialist agenda.
h/t: Heritage Blog