Thursday, January 20, 2011

Obama’s Regulation Reforms Won’t Impact Most Of The Regulations He Enacted

Obama’s pledge to reform the federal government’s regulations, identifying outdated and needlessly burdensome laws for elimination, published in the pages of the Wall Street Journal brought a smile to the face of a lot of proponents of limited government. But as with most promises from Obama, it comes with an expiration date.

Today we learn that pledge pretty much won’t involve anything the Obama administration itself has passed into law.

The review focuses on old, outdated regulations so new ones written as part of the health-care and financial overhaul likely won’t be affected, an official at the White House Office of Management and Budget said. Mr. Obama wants agencies to take a fresh look at old regulations to determine whether they are outdated or unnecessary. “New regulations will not be priorities for the lookback,” the official said. …

The move was welcomed by some Republicans and the business community. U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Thomas J. Donohue in a statement praised the executive order as a positive first step. Still, he said, the U.S. regulatory system is broken. He added, “No major rule or regulation should be exempted from the review, including the recently enacted health care and financial reform laws.”

To be fair, even just reviewing old regulations is important. But it’s a little jarring to see an administration that has, in its first two years, enacted new regulations on our nation’s private sector with an extremely heavy hand say that old regulations hurt our economy.

The cognitive dissonance is rather stunning. If they can admit that old regulations are hurting us, why can’t they realize that the new regulations they’re imposing have a good deal to do with our stagnating economy too?