A 180 degree difference from what they say and what they do has become standard-operating-procedure at the Obama White House. Take government regulation, for example. In the middle of the deepest and longest sustained economic downturn since the Great Depression, the Obama Administration cranked out new regulation faster than Oscar Meyer makes hot dogs.
Not surprisingly, there was push-back, to which the ever populist politician President responded with great fanfare that he was opening a government wide hunting season for excessive regulations; a “retrospective review.” It should have been pretty easy hunting given that the Federal Register is more than 80,000 pages of rules covering every nook and cranny of Americans lives. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed in January 2011, Obama said that “rules have gotten out of balance, placing unreasonable burdens on business – burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs.” Sounding very much like he’d gotten the message about over regulation, Obama said the goal of this review would be to “remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.”
A year later, the White House announced the results of their effort highlighting just four regulations they found and targeted for reform. It sounded pretty weak at the time, but a new analysis by James Gattuso and Diane Katz of the Heritage Foundation indicates it was an even bigger sham that first expected.
“The Administration claimed that its reforms would, if implemented, reduce regulatory costs by $10 billion per year. But little or none of this reduction has materialized. Of the four major actions in 2011 that reduced regulatory burdens, none were the product of the regulatory review initiative. Three—involving air cargo screening, family investment advisors, and debit-card price controls—were modifications of recently imposed regulatory burdens. The fourth, the exemption of milk from “oil spill” regulations, was highlighted in the President’s State of the Union speech as an example of the success of the review. In reality, it had been proposed by the EPA in January 2009, and put on hold when the Obama Administration came into office.”
We had a pretty good indication of where this retrospective review was headed already in June 2011. Obama’s regulatory czar Cass Sunstein offered a rebuttal to the growing critici