Federal Regulators: Mount Up!


Remember when President Obama's byline popped up in The Wall Street Journal with a warning about the build-up of regulatory gunk in the country's economy? In a number of instances, he wrote, federal rules and requirements "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."

Which regulations were clogging up the system? And what sort of regulatory pipe-cleaning would be feasible? Obama, ever the problem-solver, would get to the bottom of it. So he ordered "a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive." Great! What about all the fancy new regulations that his administration has helped put in place? Over the last few years, the federal regulatory apparatus has exploded, reports Investors Business Daily:

If the federal government's regulatory operation were a business, it would be one of the 50 biggest in the country in terms of revenues, and the third largest in terms of employees, with more people working for it than McDonald's, Ford, Disney and Boeing combined.

Under President Obama, while the economy is struggling to grow and create jobs, the federal regulatory business is booming.

Regulatory agencies have seen their combined budgets grow a healthy 16% since 2008, topping $54 billion, according to the annual "Regulator's Budget," compiled by George Washington University and Washington University in St. Louis.
…Meanwhile, employment at these agencies has climbed 13% since Obama took office to more than 281,000, while private-sector jobs shrank by 5.6%.

Naturally, Obama's regulatory review will not include any additional examination or oversight of the thousands of pages of new regulation put in place by last year's health care overhaul.