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It actually takes a long time and a lot of hard work to conceive, write and legally enact a new regulation. If there were only half as many bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for example, they simply wouldn’t have the time to pass as many oppressive regulations as they do.

That would both slow down new regulations and make it harder for the regulators to enforce regulations already on the book.

Then, if the Tea Party Congress and the public had the stomach for it, they could start rolling back existing regulations.

For instance, would it drive America into some Dickensian free-market hell to roll back the EPA’s last 10 years of regulations or even 5 years? Would it be possible, a bit at a time, to return to the regulatory regimen of say 1970 - or, if one could dream, 1960? Of course, if there are a few technical adjustments after the rollback, they could be passed by statute - not by regulators.

My basic point is that while regulations have been passed one at a time over many decades, they can be broadly undone only by collective repeal and resource deprivation.

Tony Blankley is the author of “American Grit: What It Will Take to Survive and Win in the 21st Century” (Regnery, 2009) and vice president of the Edelman public relations firm in Washington.