Thursday, June 7, 2012

Zone of Reality: Regulations

Mugged by Reality!

Welcome to The Other National Debt -- The Cost of Regulation




Uncertainty paralysis
by John Stossel

President Obama would do us all a big favor if he’d ask himself this: “Would I start or expand a business without knowing what regulations or taxes government will impose next year?” If he’d just stop and ask that, he’d have a sense of what’s wrong with the economy. He’d understand why a country that must create 120,000 new jobs each month just to absorb newcomers created only 69,000 last month.

Past recoveries were quicker. Something is different. What could it be?
Let’s remember that the economy — which is to say, us — is already burdened by byzantine bureaucratic impositions. Every week, the feds add another thousand pages of rules and proposals for rules. Local governments add their own. My mayor, in New York City, even proposes micromanaging the size of the drinks restaurants may sell….Every year, Congress makes thousands of changes to tax laws. And no one can guess what will happen in 2013 if the 2001 and 2003 rate cuts expire….Only when politicians butt out, leaving us with simple, predictable rules, can the economy grow for us all.

A check on the regulatory state
by George Will

All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress …
The Constitution
Article I, Section 1

WASHINGTON — Having cleared its throat with the Preamble, the Constitution buckles down to business with those words, which Republican Rep. Geoff Davis of Kentucky takes seriously. He is retiring from Congress, leaving behind excellent legislation that could claw back from the executive branch responsibilities the Founders intended for the government’s first branch. His Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS) would redress constitutional imbalance and buttress the rule of law by compelling Congress to take responsibility for the substance that executive rulemaking pours into the sometimes almost empty vessels that Congress calls “laws.”

The 165,000 pages of the Code of Federal Regulations contain tens of thousands of rules promulgated by largely unaccountable agencies that churn out more than a thousand new mandates a year. According to the Small Business Administration, regulations cost the economy about $1.75 trillion, almost twice the sum of income tax receipts. Davis says small businesses are spending $10,500 per employee on regulatory compliance. REINS would require Congress to vote on a resolution of approval concerning every “major” ($100 million economic impact) regulation. There are 212 such among the 4,128 regulations currently in the pipeline from unelected executive agencies. If the vote REINS requires did not occur within 70 days, the regulation would die.

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