The Obama administration pushed through $181.5 billion in new or expanded regulations in 2014, according to a new report from a conservative think tank that said California, Texas and Ohio were hardest hit by the additional red tape.
The American Action Forum said the new rules mostly focus on clean energy and auto emissions regulations, saying the rules cost California $7.9 billion, Texas $6.5 billion and Ohio $3.4 billion.
Last month, the group estimated that the administration’s regulations would cost a total of $143.3 billion in 2014.
“President Obama’s pen and phone imposed $181.5 billion in regulatory costs during 2014, including proposed and final rules,” said a summary of the report, written by Sam Batkins, AAF’s director of regulatory policy. “In 79,066 pages of regulation, Americans will feel higher energy bills, more expensive consumer goods, and fewer employment opportunities. No one can accuse the president of abandoning his promises on regulation in 2014.”
Speaking to a group of federal employees last month, Mr. Obama said Republicans “are about 25 percent right when it comes to regulatory burden.” He said his administration continues to take steps to eliminate outdated rules and to work with the business community for more sensible policies.
We should clarify two things at this point. First, some amount of regulation is necessary and good, and we don't post this article to suggest otherwise. The assurance of safe food and water, for example, is a great benefit of living in this country, and it's only possible through regulation.
Second, the Obama administration does not shoulder all the blame. This problem isn't attached to a particular party -- it's the result of a government that has grown too large and too powerful. It's the result of a federal government that believes it knows what's best for the huge variety of people and situations that exist in the United States.
We're not opposed to regulation; we're opposed to regulation from officials who don't know anything about the particular issues facing a community or state. Such regulation results in blanket policies that may help one section of the country while harming another. The majority of regulation shouldn't come from Washington, D.C.; it should come from the local and state governments who understand what would be best for their citizens.
This kind of local regulation would be cheaper and more efficient, placing less of a fiscal burden on the taxpayer and business owners. It would mean more sensible, less wasteful policies that have the real potential to help the people they mean to serve. It would also mean more accountability, as citizens have much more immediate access to their local and state officials.
A Convention of States can help bring this about. By limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government through constitutional amendments, states and local communities will have more decision-making power than ever before.