Employers doubt Obama’s vow of less red tape

White House blitz called ‘a mirage’

She said Mr. Sunstein’s claims about less rule making in the Obama administration don’t hold much weight, because businesses are also worried about regulations in the pipeline. That especially includes the Dodd-Frank law governing Wall Street (with more than 440 suggested rules) and the Obama health care law.

“Obamacare is going to be a gigantic burden on firms, and it introduces gigantic uncertainty into the economy,” Ms. de Rugy said. “It’s going to take years to know all the rules.”

Mr. Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, cited several examples for employers to be more optimistic, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration eliminating 1.9 million hours of redundant reporting requirements, the elimination of wording in a rule that subjected milk producers to abide by the same regulations governing oil spills, and the simplification of student-aid forms.

In defense of the administration, Mr. Sunstein also provided examples of “consumer-friendly” rules that are, in effect, new regulations — new labels on sunscreen requiring more accurate claims about protection, and the replacement of the “food pyramid” with a “food plate,” which he called “widely praised.”

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