“We're also getting rid of absurd and unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money. We're looking at the system as a whole to make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation.”
—President Obama, Wall Street Journal op-ed, January 18, 2011
With record spending and borrowing and unemployment above 8 percent for 35 consecutive months, it is apparent that President Obama’s policies have failed and are making the economy worse.
Twice each year the president’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), a division of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), releases its Unified Agenda, an arcane compilation of all regulatory actions currently in the executive cauldron of rule writing.
For those so inclined, the Agenda is searchable here, allowing Americans to see in some detail the job-destroying bureaucratic burdens being cooked up by the Obama administration.
A simple search of the most recent version of the Unified Agenda—released last week but titled “Fall 2011”—indicates a robust regulatory brew in the works. Consider the following overall numbers:
(Of note, the archived versions are also searchable. For instance, the “Fall 2009” document indicated that the administration had completed 669 regulations, with 33 classified as economically significant. That’s a 51 percent increase in regulatory, uh, efficiency!)
Really putting the search engine to work, one could even look for rules that have unfunded mandates or something labeled as “federalism implications.” (Yes, seriously.) Here is another (disappointing) example pulled directly from a search of the regulatory round-up:
With a regulatory track record like this, it’s not surprising that the economy grew just 1.7 percent in 2011, down from 3.0 percent in 2010.