Over the past ten years, Democrats have held a singular belief that almost all problems in America could be solved with more regulations and more oversight. Team Obama came to power and a Democrat-led congress immediately pushed through reams of new regulations. Hidden within thousands of pages of legislation for stimulus, financial regulatory reform, home mortgage reform and various small business jobs’ acts, were government regulations that are now strangling American entrepreneurship, American exceptionalism and American independence.
This perfect storm of increased regulations and increased oversight has had a ruinous effect. For example, during the Bush Administration, Congressman Henry Waxman often pummeled the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), demanding more oversight and more regulatory reviews in an unrealistic quest to find perfect, risk-free medications.
When Barack Obama became president, Democrat acolytes took over the FDA and implemented the strategy of excessive regulatory control that Waxman had advocated. And what was the effect?
New pharmaceutical development, once an American competitive edge, has slowed to a crawl and the nation is in danger of losing its leadership in new drug development. In 1996, the FDA approved approximately 45 new drugs—and the world clamored to buy American pharmaceuticals. Now, despite larger budgets, increased manpower and more sophisticated technology, the FDA approves only 20 new drugs each year.
Our competitive edge is eroding. And, in America, the entrepreneurs that once created the world’s most innovative products have been stymied. Inventors and investors worry that no new medical product, regardless of its effectiveness, can navigate the bizarre and expensive FDA path to approval. Americans can thank Henry Waxman for developing the strategy and they can thank Team Obama for the implementation.
The evidence of excessive federal regulation is everywhere and certainly not limited to the FDA. The Economist just ran a cover story, “Tangled Up In Green Tape” lambasting excessive and confusing, EPA regulations in the United States.