The Executive Order issued by President Obama last week, “Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens,” made it sound as if the reality of crushing regulatory burdens was at long last being recognized as part of the cause of the sluggish economy. Said the order:
Regulations play an indispensable role in protecting public health, welfare, safety, and our environment, but they can also impose significant burdens and costs. During challenging economic times, we should be especially careful not to impose unjustified regulatory requirements.
His order then went on to state that “our regulatory system must measure, and seek to improve, the actual results of regulatory requirements… [through] periodic review of existing significant regulations.” Since his previous Executive Order issued in January 2011 agencies have already identified over five hundred “initiatives” that are supposed to save “billions of dollars in regulatory costs and tens of millions of hours in annual paperwork burdens.”
Cass Sunstein, the head of one of those regulatory agencies, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs—the “regulator of the regulators” so to speak—touted some of the burdens that allegedly have already