Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sneaky Regulation? Federal Agencies Issue over 24,000 “Public Notices” Annually

by Wayne Crews on March 26, 2014

Economic activity increasingly shifts toward government outright (health care, retirement, education) or exists under “Mother-May-I” constraints like energy production does.  The greatest threat to job creation, wealth and prosperity is that we extend these anti-freedom regulatory policies into tomorrow’s innovations in communications, robotics/automation, manufacturing, and sciences and technology.

When more and more activity falls within the ambit of government rather than that of private competitive enterprise, rules and regulations, executive orders and “notices” take on ominous new significance……Regulations with economically significant impact ($100 million or more in annual impacts) are supposed to receive special attention from agencies and from reviewers at the Office of Management and Budget.

But guidance documents with equivalent impacts may escape cost-benefit or other scrutiny. Decisions may be made by agencies, and private parties compelled to act or not act, without formal regulation or thorough understanding of costs. ……Such activism constitutes regulation not properly designated as such, and so we know it is not controlled, because even above-board regulation is not reviewed and pruned.
 
A July 2012 U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform noted how agencies have “skirted the regulatory process” with “misuse of guidance documents.”

Guidance documents, while not legally binding or technically enforceable, are supposed to be issued only to clarify regulations already on the books. However… they are increasingly used to effect policy changes, and they often are as effective as regulations in changing behavior due to the weight agencies and the courts give them. Accordingly, job creators feel forced to comply......To Read More......

 

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