Friday, November 4, 2011

President Obama Sent Me A Letter Claiming He Was A Deregulating Machine!?

Go ahead and read the letter, and then we'll have a little discussion afterwards.

Friend --
Yesterday, a Bloomberg News analysis found that the Obama administration has passed fewer regulations than George W. Bush had at this point in his presidency -- and on top of that, they've come at far lower costs to the economy than the annual high mark for regulatory costs set by the first President Bush, or regulatory costs in President Reagan's last year for that matter.
It's funny, because a favorite theme from Republicans these days is that the President is passing an exorbitant number of regulations at crippling costs. John Boehner has said it's "misguided" for the President to be "imposing so many new rules with such enormous costs." Rep. Eric Cantor has said President Obama should "reevaluate his position on regulations."
This news kind of makes all those claims about "job-crushing government regulations" seem like what they are: political talking points with no basis in the truth.
Let's take a quick look at what this administration has actually done regulation-wise:
    -- President Obama has taken huge steps to reduce regulatory burdens and costs, and to make regulations more transparent. He signed a landmark executive order requiring agencies to develop tools to cut ineffective, burdensome regulations; issued a memorandum directing agencies to provide taxpayers with easy, comprehensive access to regulatory information; and has, for the first time ever, required those agencies to actually engage with the folks who would be affected by a potential regulation before they propose it.
    -- This administration has made it a priority to do away with the burdens of unnecessary regulations. So far during this administration's tenure, tens of millions of hours of regulation-related paperwork have been eliminated, saving businesses hundreds of millions in related costs. And the President initiated a plan to roll back hundreds of burdensome, unnecessary regulations - all told, this overhaul will save businesses more than $10 billion in the next five years. An example of one of the regulations getting cut? An EPA regulation defining milk as an "oil." This change is going to save the dairy industry $1.4 billion in the next decade.
    -- The regulations that the President has put in place have filled gaps, closed loopholes, and protected taxpayers. Wall Street reform closed the regulatory gaps that allowed banks to grow "too big to fail" in the first place. And it puts consumer protections in place to make sure financial institutions can't continue the deceptive and abusive practices of the past -- shifting interest rates, unfair late fees, and other hidden charges.
Here's what it comes down to: This administration is in favor of smart regulations that protect middle-class families and consumers, and against burdensome ones that don't do anything but waste time and taxpayers' money.
And this campaign is committed to spreading the truth -- not baseless attacks. So help us do just that: Get the word out about how wrong Republicans are on the President's regulatory record.
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Every time I get into an argument with someone from the left, they will invariably tell me how regulation is a good thing, and an actual boost to the economy.  For the leftists out there, and you know who you are, if you have an ounce of intellectual honesty, you know this to be true.  So, why is the President sending me this message?  A bit of disclosure here.  I got reported to Attack Watch, and used the opportunity to sign up for the Team Obama mailing lists.  I get the email distributions for Obama supporters.  I get to read this nonsense a few times per week.  Putting aside for the moment the fact that this letter is nothing but a bald faced lie, let's get back to the question at hand.  Why is the President sending me a message claiming that he is the undisputed king of deregulation, if regulation is actually good for the economy?  Now, let's get back to the facts at hand.  There has been an 80% increase in the amount of regulatory additions in the authority of the executive branch taken during this administration.  In the Bloomberg study noted in the Bamster's letter, they failed to take into consideration those regulatory additions which were added by existing agencies and included new rules which were merely added to existing laws.  The EPA for example, decided to start considering Carbon Dioxide a dangerous gas as a part of the Clean Air Act.  Carbon Dioxide being dangerous is new withing the last 3 years.  The Clean Air Act dates back to the days of Nixon.  According to the Bloomberg dishonest study, it does not qualify as a new regulation.  

The truly maddening thing about these new regulations, which are not really new at all according to some folks, is that they are arbitrarily decided upon.  These laws, which we were convinced were necessary for the public benefit, packaged to us as the cure for certain specific problems which were presented to us in the, "Chicken Little sky is falling," manner, were written in such a vague wording, that it gives broad authority to the agencies chosen to add their own rules as they go along.  Each one of these agencies created to protect us from our spooky selves, has the ability to add to their scope in an unlimited fashion.  Rules are added according to the whim of a single bureaucrat, and there is no audit process, vote, or citizen redress to check and balance the system.  A bureaucrat decided that spilled milk was somehow dangerous last year.  We all have been affected with milk prices in the grocery store.  This is a new rule added by a member of Barack Obama's executive team, and he is back peddling from it as though it is not his fault, since he did not establish the EPA.  Here is the rub, I do not remember the vote, nor even the public debate where Americans were given the choice between protecting our environment from the evils of milk versus paying more for a gallon at the store.  Americans may very well have said, "yes, I'd like to pay double for the white stuff," but they might have also said no.  The point is, we never got the chance.

Yesterday, I read this piece of good news regulatory madness from the self purported king of deregulation.  What perplexes me most, is that someone feels as though this is a good idea.  Putting aside for the moment that the Green Fairy has proven to be a shiftless drunk, we are smack dab in the middle of an oil shortage.  Drilling for our ample supply of oil is no longer just a talking point, it is a necessity.  Something else caught my eye from the article, that is far from it's main point.

A few months ago, President Obama made a decision that would help America break our oil addiction. He raised fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 mpg by 2025. That will cut U.S. oil consumption by as much as 1.5 million barrels per day, which is equivalent to U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia and Iraq in 2010. That's the type of solution we need--one that will benefit America's drivers, not just Big Oil.
Only in the woozy dream like world of those wacky leftists, a world devoid of any actual consequences would someone tout this little tidbit as a positive.  Why stop at 54.5 mpg?  Why not just sign into law that we will have to average 250 mpg by 2025?  There is not a single vehicle in production today that matches the first measure when put into actual practice.  Just signing it will not make it so, no matter how many rich people we tar and feather and then run out of town.  I understand it now, with complete clarity.  In order to be an Obama supporter, or even a supporter of today's Democrat Party, you need to have a complete break with reality.  When you stop and consider that these are the same fine people who are talking seriously about preparing for an invasion by space aliens because they feel it will give the economy a boost, and also because it might be possible that space aliens would be upset with the level of Carbon in our atmosphere, that GOP is the anti-science party crap should be firmly planted right back in their faces the next time they bring that out.

A further illustration of the dangers of an Executive Branch run amok might be fun.  I read this yesterday, and found it interesting, especially since it is from my home town newspaper.  From a Federal Judge in Wheeling, West Virginia.  So to clarify, the coal industry has scored a victory.  Only about 10% of the rules arbitrarily put into place by our regulatory agencies are ever reviewed by anyone.  This rules was reviewed by a Federal Judge, and ruled to be outside of the scope of the EPA.  The victory is short lived however, as the EPA merely took a few minutes to develop a new rule for no other purpose than to stop the same coal industry from mining the same coal a Federal Judge told them that they could.  The new rule will no doubt take several years to defeat in court, and the end result is that you and I get to pay more for electricity.  Nobody asked our opinion, there was no public debate, there was only the arbitrary decision made by a single bureaucrat.  All this happened while Barack Obama decided to tell me, he is the undisputed king of rolling back oppressive regulations.

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