Dumb and Dumber

Obama's regulatory reform

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Since Barack Obama became president, his administration has issued myriad regulations affecting the health, finance, and technology sectors. In January, however, he issued an executive order requiring federal agencies to review their regulations, looking for rules that are inefficient or outdated. His aim, he explained on The Wall Street Journal's op-ed page, was to "root out regulations that conflict, that are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb."

But there's a catch: All those new regulations Obama put in place will not be subject to review. Just days after the president issued his order, an anonymous administration official conceded to the Journal that "new regulations will not be priorities for the lookback." Meanwhile, more than a dozen federal bureaucracies—including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board—are exempt from the review because they are independent agencies. 

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