Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s presidential election, Barack Obama will immediately become a lame duck. That is not to say he will be powerless, but he will never again have to face the wrath of American voters.
Even if Mitt Romney prevails tomorrow (which I think he will), President Obama will have 75 days to ram through any number of economically destructive regulations and executive orders. Make no mistake, an aggressive administration can push things across the finish line in the waning days regardless of their popularity; and that is especially true of this administration.
Prior to the election, President Obama’s team postponed action on some of its most ambitious regulations – a terrifying thought given the destructiveness of what they’ve already done.
The Heritage Foundation’s Diane Katz explains, “There is ample reason to believe that this recent “draw-back” of rulemaking portends a regulatory tsunami in the coming year.” Just look at the list of regulations on hold. It reads like a handbook on how to lose an election:
· Stricter ozone emission standards, which could cost $90 billion per year and jeopardize millions of jobs, have been shelved until 2013;
· Numerous global warming regulations (I am looking at you Mayor Bloomberg) are on hold;
· Efforts to designate coal ash as a “hazardous substance,” estimated to cost $79 billion to $110 billion and thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Missouri and Ohio, are also on hold;
· A $2.7 billion mandate that all new cars and trucks come equipped with rear-view camera and video display is delayed; and
· In the interest of not crippling the economies of Pennsylvania and Ohio, the $20 billion Boiler MACT rules are on hold.
Unfortunately, the list goes on. Just how many of these regulations an outgoing Obama administration could finalize in 75 days is unknown, but Katz says the “very uncertainty is itself damaging to the economy.”
Of course, the picture is even worse if President Obama prevails tomorrow. We can all but guarantee these regulatory proposals and many more will quietly strangle our sluggish economy between now and 2016. At least businesses will have some certainty, right?
With four more years, President Obama can do much more than attack America by regulatory overreach, though. The Weekly Standard’s Jeffrey Anderson explains a second term will allow President Obama to “cement the result of his first term that Americans like least—Obamacare.”