Regulations: Numbers Your Republican Leaders Don’t Want You To Hear

Posted by | March 26, 2012 20:24 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

It has become an article of faith in Republican circles that the Obama administration has regulated us into poverty.  It is so ingrained that the only “job plan” the GOP has is to eliminate regulations (never mind the very tenuous relationship between regulation and jobs).  What would happen if we got rid of the regulations?

Over the Obama administration’s first three years, the net benefits of regulations reviewed by OIRA and issued by executive agencies exceeded $91 billion — 25 times the corresponding number in the Bush administration and more than eight times the corresponding number in the Clinton administration

Net benefit numbers, which are largely driven by the reduced deaths and health problems caused by pollution, are inherently squishy (but they were just as squishy for the Bush and Clinton administrations).  What if we, in an attempt to make the best case made by Republicans and do the foolish thing, look at just the costs of regulations?

Not at all. In the last 10 fiscal years, the highest costs were imposed in 2007. The last three years of the Bush administration saw higher regulatory costs than the first three years of the Obama administration. If you’re looking for the year with the highest regulatory costs on record, you’ll have to go all the way back to 1992, under President George H.W. Bush.

Those facts, they keep interfering with the narrative.

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Copyright 2012 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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