The PJ Tatler

Obama Goes on Vacay, Dow Loses 419, But Hey, We're in No Danger of a Second Recession

That’s according to our prognosticator in chief.

President Obama countered many Wall Street analysts, saying on Wednesday that the U.S. is not going to have another recession.

“I don’t think we’re in danger of another recession,” Obama told CBS News. Obama did note that the recovery has not been fast enough, blaming the Arab spring, high gas prices, and March’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Obama said the volatility in the markets recently has been due to a lack of economic growth.

“The markets were reacting to the economy not growing as quick as it used to,” he said.

Thanks, Sherlock.

Now, why isn’t the economy growing as quick as it used to? President Obama blames the tsunami, the Arab Spring, Rondo’s slump, whatever. But under his watch, what I’ve called the regulatory state is on a hiring spree and threatening to shut down the lifeblood of the economy, energy. This handy chart, plucked from NRO, shows the growth of the regulatory state under Obama nicely.

Regulatory agency budgets have grown 16% since 2008 according to Investors Business Daily, more than triple the growth of the economy as a whole. And that’s not all, not by a long shot:

Regulatory production is way up, too, if you measure that by the number of rules federal agencies churn out.

The Obama administration imposed 75 new major rules in its first 26 months, costing the private sector more than $40 billion, according to a Heritage Foundation study. “No other president has imposed as high a number or cost in a comparable time period,” noted the study’s author, James Gattuso.

The number of pages in the Federal Register — where all new rules must be published and which serves as proxy of regulatory activity — jumped 18% in 2010.

This July, regulators imposed a total of 379 new rules that will cost more than $9.5 billion, according to an analysis by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.

And much more is on the way. The Federal Register notes that more than 4,200 regulations are in the pipeline. That doesn’t count impending clean air rules from the EPA, new derivative rules, or the FCC’s net neutrality rule. Nor does that include recently announced fuel economy mandates or eventual ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank regulations.

Incredibly, the Obama admin and its allies don’t see all this regulatory red tape and burden as a drag on the economy. They’re out there trying to make the case that the regulatory state is actually a stimulus to the economy.

Not everyone in the Obama administration sees a problem. The EPA thinks new regulations can fuel the economy and hiring.

The EPA wrote in February that “in periods of high unemployment, an increase in labor demand due to regulation may have a stimulative effect that results in a net increase in overall employment.”

That’s obviously insane. But these people are running our country. For a while, anyway.

For what it’s worth, Obama’s regulatory state and its negative impact on the national economy sets up a striking contrast with Gov. Perry. For years, Perry has governed on the principle that regulations should be fair, reasonable and predictable. We’re getting nothing like that from the Obama administration, where the EPA is empowered to be unfair, unreasonable and unpredictable. The results are before us, in a crummy economy that’s heading for a double-dip. We’ll hear about this from Perry, count on it.