Obama And The Slow(er) Pace Of Regulation

Posted by | July 21, 2012 06:21 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

It has been an article of faith from Republicans, especially Governor Romney, that the Obama Administration has been excessive in its issuance of regulations.  Truth is, of course, more nuanced than political rhetoric.  The pace of regulation has slowed dramatically recently as reported by Politico:

But now Obama’s making it tougher to put costly new rules in place. His enforcer: Cass Sunstein (pictured), an old buddy from their University of Chicago days whose friendship with the president gives him more clout in the West Wing than many advisers of higher rank. Sunstein has imposed what is essentially a soft freeze on new regulations.

While some of this can be dismissed as an election year tactic (holding regulations until after the election), other aspects are more indicative of a philosophy that isn’t quite what Romney portrays.

The White House recently modified an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to limit soot emissions, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post, inviting public comment on a slightly weaker standard than the agency had originally sought.

President Obama has issued more regulations that are protective of public health (and more costly) than a President Romney would.  But this doesn’t mean his Administration has been regulating like crazy.  Regulatory decisions are extremely complicated and each one should be evaluated on its own merits.

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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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