Ed Feulner

Yet customers prefer the safety and power of larger vehicles. As “Red Tape Rising” puts it: “If fuel efficiency was such a good deal for consumers, why are regulations needed to force them to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles? Either consumers are wrong, or the regulators are wrong.”

When you have an administration deciding that consumers are wrong, that’s overreach. That’s “out of balance.”

Then there are the limits the EPA has placed on power-plant emissions, which will hike utility bills for consumers.

And there are new rules in the pipeline. Hundreds of them, primarily related to Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial-regulation statute have yet to be written. So the true price tag is “$70 billion and climbing.”

Worse, even as the number and cost of regulations is rising, oversight and transparency is on the wane. According to “Red Tape Rising,” the White House office charged with overseeing regulatory policy has not had a director since last August, referring an appointee to the Senate for confirmation only last month. Meanwhile, legal deadlines for key reports on rulemaking have been ignored.

There are several common-sense steps that lawmakers can take. One is to require that Congress approve any new major regulation. For now, government agencies can act autonomously, and that’s not right. They should be accountable to the people.

Establishing a “sunset” date for federal regulations would also help. Old regulations tend to stay on the books even after they’ve outlived their usefulness.

Not all regulations are bad. But all of them cost. Let’s make sure we leave only the most necessary ones on the books -- and restore that crucial “balance.”

Ed Feulner

Dr. Edwin Feulner is Founder of The Heritage Foundation, a Townhall.com Gold Partner, and co-author of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today .
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