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The PJ Tatler

by
Matt Vespa

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January 30, 2013 - 7:10 pm

As Stephen Green tattled today, the economy contraction is the GOP’s fault.  White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “Our economy is facing a major headwinds, and that’s Republicans in Congress.”

The Commerce Department projected Wednesday that the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Carney said that was partially attributable to the threat of sequestration, which would implement across-the-board spending cuts if a long-term deficit deal is not reached.

“This is political brinkmanship that results in one primary victim. That’s American taxpayers and the American middle class,” Carney said, acknowledging the GDP projection was bad news.

However, it also could be due to creating a new trillion dollar health care entitlement, whose full effects on the economy are still dubious.  We know they aren’t going to be good.  How about the jobs council Obama killed, which “irked” him since they recommended cutting regulations, rather than instituting new ones.  However, as Jeffrey H. Anderson of The Weekly Standard posted today, the costs related to Obama’s economic regulations are far greater than that of his predecessors.

…the chart below shows, the costs of “major” regulations — those estimated to cost at least $100 million in any one year (in 2001 dollars) — issued by the Obama administration in its first three years nearly tripled the cost of those issued by the Clinton administration in its first three years, nearly quintupled the cost of those issued by the George W. Bush administration in its first three years, and nearly doubled the cost of those issued by Bush and Clinton combined.  Again, that’s according to the Obama White House’s own tallies.

Of course, the Obama White House fancifully contends that, in addition to costing colossal sums of money, its regulations also save colossal sums of money.  But only the truly credulous could believe this is true — or that there’s any accurate way to quantify the “savings” that would ensue from, say, cleaner air (to the extent that these regulations even legitimately advance such goals).  If anyone believes that the Obama administration’s “Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Sulfur Dioxide” saved $10.5 billion (that’s billion), as the administration claims (see Table 2-3), or that the “Portland Cement Notice of Reconsideration” saved $11.2 billion, then you probably also believe that our national debt isn’t any cause for alarm, that women in combat raises no identifiable concerns, and that if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan.

Penny Starr at CNS News wrote back in September of 2012 that Obama had added 11,327 pages in new federal regulations.

Over the past three years, the bound edition of thevCode of Federal Regulations has increased by 11,327 pages – a 7.4 percent increase from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2011. In 2009, the increase in the number of pages was the most over the last decade – 3.4 percent or 5,359 pages.

Over the past decade, the federal government has issued almost 38,000 new final rules, according to the draft of the 2011 annual report to Congress on federal regulations by the Office of Management and Budget. That brought the total at the end of 2011 to 169,301 pages.

That is more than double the number of pages needed to publish the regulations back in 1975 when the bound edition consisted of 71,244 pages.

The figures were released on Monday at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., when the business federation held its annual Labor Day briefing on the state of the economy, obstacles to job creation and the burden of regulations on the labor market.

Randy Johnson, senior vice president of labor, immigration and employee benefits at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, distributed a handout of a Congressional Research Service analysis of a 2008 study commissioned by the Small Business Administration that estimated the annual compliance price for all federal regulations at $1.7 trillion that year.

Seventy percent of the regulations were economic, accounting for $1.236 trillion of the annual cost. The other regulations were, in order of cost, environment regulations ($281 billion), tax compliance ($160 billion) and occupational safety and health and homeland security ($75 billion).

So, is it really Republican obstructionism, or Obama’s insufferable, big government liberalism?

 

Matt Vespa is a conservative blogger who contributes to CNS News, RedState, Noodle Pundit, and was formerly with Hot Air's GreenRoom.

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