Harry Reid: Regulations Don't Hurt Economy

Bob Beauprez
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Posted: Nov 17, 2011 12:01 AM

You have to wonder which hole in the sand Harry Reid has his head buried in.  Yesterday, in comments on the floor of the Senate, the Democrat Leader said the following:

"While it's proper to guard against and remove onerous regulations, and we need to do that, my Republican friends have yet to produce a single shred of evidence that the regulations they hate so much do the broad economic harms they claim.  That's because there aren't any."

Reid's denial is in large part his poor explanation for denying the Senate even one vote on any of the "Forgotten Fifteen" regulation relief bills that have been passed by the GOP House.  Reid's ludicrous statement is also consistent with Cass Sunstein, the Regulation Czar for the Obama Administration.  When asked about all the new rules and regulations being promulgated by the Administration Sunstein said, "There has been no increase in rule making in this Administration." 

As reported on these pages previously, however, the total employment at the conglomeration of federal agencies responsible for enforcing compliance with the myriad of laws now exceeds 281,000 people.  That's an increase of 13 percent already during the Obama Administration at a time when 27 million Americans find themselves unemployed, under-employed, or have completely given up even trying to find work.  The budgets at these same agencies have increased 16 percent during the same period to over $54 billion.

With the expanded staffs, the agencies have ramped up new regulations at a frightening pace, too. The Federal Register, already about 80,000 pages, where all the regulation is posted increased 18 percent in 2010 alone, and 4,200 new rules or revisions are in the pipeline.  According to an Investor's Business Daily report that staggering total doesn't include the impending clean air rules from the EPA, new derivative rules, the FCC's net neutrality rules, the recently announced CAFE fuel mandates, or the eventual plethora of new regulation mandated by ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank legislation. 

Even prior to the Obama Administration's onslaught of new rules and regulations, the Small Business Administration estimated that federal regulation imposed a $1.75 trillion annual cost burden on the economy.  Further, according to the Heritage Foundation the 75 new major rules put in place in just the first 26 months of the Obama Administration added $40 billion more in expense to American businesses. 

We really don't think Reid is naïve enough to believe that ever increasing amounts of regulation have no adverse consequences to the economy.  That leaves only willful denial or an outright willingness to lie as the only other possible explanations for his contention. 

We'll let you pick which it might be.