The nation's regulatory climate has hit epic highs under President Obama's White House, despite the administration's oft-repeated rhetoric of the need to create a freer business atmosphere and open the doors to economic growth.
"It would be difficult for anyone to pretend that this isn't a high water mark in terms of regulation," Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director on the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office who now heads the American Action Forum, told The Hill newspaper.
Some argue that Mr. Obama is not to blame for the present regulatory climate — that it's actually been on a steady climb for more years than he's occupied the White House, The Hill reported. But the consensus is that the regulations won't be leaving when Mr. Obama's presidency ends. Moreover, Mr. Obama has said on previous occasions, most notably in the days after the 2010 elections, "Where Congress won't act, I will."
Data from George Mason University's Mercatus Center indicate that the Code of Federal Regulations has grown from 71,224 pages in 1975 to 174,545 in 2012. Mr. Obama's White House, meanwhile, has pushed for executive controls over the Second Amendment, on sentencing guidelines for drug criminals and for immigration. And predictions are: More of the same.
"All incentives are to regulate more," said Susan Dudley, the director of George Washington University's Regulatory Studies Center, in The Hill.
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