President Obama Promises to Adopt Only Good Regulations

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How many regulations are enough?

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama issued a new executive order commanding the federal bureaucracy to eliminate bad regulations and adopt only good ones. As he explained in a Wall Street Journal op/ed:

…we are also making it our mission to root out regulations that conflict, that are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb.

But as usual with the president, what he gives with his right hand, he takes back with his left. While damning the effects of burdensome regulations, the president had to take credit for imposing new good regulations:

…our efforts over the past two years to modernize our regulations have led to smarter—and in some cases tougher—rules to protect our health, safety and environment. Yet according to current estimates of their economic impact, the benefits of these regulations exceed their costs by billions of dollars.

In fact, the only regulation that the president cited in his op/ed as being "just plain dumb" was an Environmental Protection Agency requirement that companies treat saccharin like a dangerous chemical. And as for federal regulations being cost-effective, is it any wonder that by some miracle most of them are found to be OK since generally those analyses are done by federal agencies themselves or by contractors hired for the purpose?

In any case, even before the president signed his new executive order, the super-efficient bureaucrats over at the EPA have already apparently done a review of the agency's new greenhouse gas regulations. As The Hill reports:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is "confident" it will not have to alter current or pending environmental regulations, including upcoming climate rules, as part of the new regulatory review framework President Obama outlined Tuesday.

"EPA is confident that our recent and upcoming steps to address GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act comfortably pass muster under the sensible standards the president has laid out," an EPA official told The Hill in a statement Tuesday.

Policy analyst Sterling Burnett over at the free market think tank, the National Center for Policy Analysis, writes in the vein of Claude Rains as Captain Renault in Casablanca that he is "shocked, shocked" [YouTube] to discover that a federal agency finds its regulations are cost-effective and helpful to business:

I was shocked, shocked I say, to find that a regulatory agency would find that none of its current or proposed rules unnecessarily burdens the economy or hurts job retention or growth. … After all, what agency is going to say, "yeah, we were wrong, these rules don't work, they produce more harm than they prevent," or "Sure we're in a recession, and sure these rules won't do any good [let's say, for example, in preventing climate change], and sure there are going to be enormous costs but the country should adopt the regulations anyway – at least we'll look like we are doing something."

That's about right.

President Obama has mastered the art of vacuously promising to consider all "good ideas." The problem is that he thinks that he already has all the good ideas and most of them entail ever more government intrusion into the lives of Americans.

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  1. I can’t believe the wsj was willing to publish something that was so obviously a lie.

    1. Perhaps they published it knowing that it would be widely seen as the lie that it is.

  2. I have stated repeatedly that I am willing to listen to all good suggestions that are the same as mine. I call upon my opponents to demonstrate a spirit of bi-partisan compromise by capitulating to my ideas.

    1. You’ve nailed it. I can’t understand why people support a man for President that couldn’t stand to be around at work, with his smug know it all attitude.

  3. “President Obama Promises to Adopt Only Good Regulations”

    Oxymoron much?

    1. Ummm, I kinda think that was the point.

      1. Mission Accomplished!

  4. I wonder when the Republicans will realize that regulations can be repealed by legislation, and start putting bills on Obama’s desk that do so.

    1. I’m still skeptical even the new Tea Partiers will be able to avoid being buried in truckloads of lobbyist cash.

      1. Well considering that Reason spoke to a few of them at a rally and that they didn’t seem to want to cut entitlements, I would say that you are correct. Not that the cash will be the only thing that affects their judgment, it’s also that many in the teaparty don’t seem to want to cut the programs that are really affecting the budget. Defense, SS, Medicaid, Medicare…

  5. President Obama Promises to Adopt Only Good Regulations

    Well that takes care of my sole objection to the regulatory welfare state!

    To whom do I return my decoder ring?

  6. Give me the CFR and a large box of red pens, and our troubles here will be over very quickly.

    1. You need a box of red pens? I think a paper shredder would do the trick.

      1. The pen is mightier, after all…

  7. President Obama has mastered the art of vacuously [insert pretty much anything here].

  8. While damning the effects of burdensome regulations, the president had to take credit for imposing new good regulations:

    …our efforts over the past two years to modernize our regulations have led to smarter ? and in some cases tougher ? rules to protect our health, safety and environment. Yet according to current estimates of their economic impact, the benefits of these regulations exceed their costs by billions of dollars.

    Which gives a new face to the meaning of “Bait And Switch.”

    Nothing protects health, safety and the environment like a new set of laws. A few more like that and we can protect the Earth from falling asteroids as well.

    1. Now if only Congress were to pass legislation amending the law of gravity.
      Then nobody would be obese!

  9. “EPA is confident that our recent and upcoming steps to address GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act comfortably pass muster under the sensible standards the president has laid out,” an EPA official told The Hill in a statement Tuesday.

    *makes surprised face*

  10. President Obama has mastered the art of vacuously promising to consider all “good ideas.” The problem is that he thinks that he already has all the good ideas and most of them entail ever more government intrusion into the lives of Americans.

    Jeepers, Bailey, I’m gonna hafta report this vile hate speech to the SPLC.

  11. This is right up there with “I’m going to balance the budget by cutting waste and fraud!”

  12. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is “confident” it will not have to alter current or pending environmental regulations, including upcoming climate rules, as part of the new regulatory review framework President Obama outlined Tuesday.

    “… because all of our regulations are good regulations.”

    The new objective and scientific criteria to pass regulations:

    * Is the regulation a good regulation?
    a) Strongly agree
    b) Somewhat agree
    c) Don’t agree
    d) Strongly disagree

    NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING wishy-washy and touchy-feely about labeling regulations “good”! Naaaaahhh!

  13. So it follows that all journalism funded by the Kochtopus should be disregarded as self-serving drivel?

    1. Kochtopus?

      What’s that?

      Is that anything like a Sorosaurus?

  14. Every reg is sacred,
    Every reg is great.
    If a reg is wasted,
    Barack gets quite irate.

  15. promised only to adopt good regulations?

  16. promised only to adopt good regulations?

    1. Since Episiarch is off today, let me ask Anonopuss what he means. Let me guess? Since Team Red said it, then it’s ok for Team Blue to do it? Did I get that correct?
      We don’t give a shit if the other guy said it too…it’s still wrong.

      If that is not what you mean, I (perhaps) apologize from the bottom of my heart!

  17. Credit where it’s due: The bit of dialogue from Casablanca in Ronald’s YouTube link has to be one of the sharpest pieces of libertarian satire in Hollywood history.

  18. Who does Obama think he’s kidding. He and the extreme left have never seen a government regulation they didn’t like. For every dumb one they’ll find and eliminate you can bet your life savings that they will impose 100 new good ones. If Obama gets a 2nd term you won’t be able to go to the bathroom without asking for toilet paper,in triplicate, and being timed by a government bureaucrat. For your own welfare of course!

  19. Of course he is not going to find any wasteful regulations – Al Gore got rid of all those when he “reinvented government.”

  20. Ronald Baily writes vacuous article about vacuous promises of Obama which were meant to be vacuous unlike the vacuous promises of vacuous politicians who instinctively pander to the vacuous american right which doesn’t know vacuous when it sees vacuous and is therefore highly susceptible to vacuousness including the vacuous promises of Obama which are meant to be vacuous, unlike this article which was not meant to be vacuous but turns out to be anyway.

  21. It’s just amazing how good the foxes claim they are at protecting the henhouse, ain’t it?

  22. Today, USNew.com has a huge list of GOP cuts on regs, programs that waste monies and all of us who post should support those cuts and tell Obama, this is the way to cut regs by making the entitlement classes really hurt not our free enterprise system.

  23. Obama’s middle name is vacuous.

  24. I challenge anyone not in the EPA to read the preamble to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule published in the Fed Register Dec 1,2010, and say that this regulation will benefit the environment. I take that back, I just challenge you to read it(40 CFR Part 98). Why do we need regulations for tracking and reporting greenhouse gases that are more stringent for measuring and reporting than any other pollutant in the Clean Air Act? The preamble will tell you; because the EPA wants better data and no matter what the cost, it’s worth it. Not.

  25. Remember those line-by-line budget checks he promised? Insert “regulation” for “budget”.

    Maybe someone could ask him exactly how he’ll do this. After all, no one thought to ask him last time how he would do those line-by-line budget checks, and we know how that turned out.

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