If Bush wants to preserve what’s left of the dignity of his administration, I have one suggestion: sit on your hands. It is harder to screw up when you do nothing. Of course, Bush won’t take my advice. From the looks of things, he won’t even listen to his own Chief of Staff Josh Bolten who issued a memo in May, basically saying the same thing. In the memo Bolten states, “Except in extraordinary circumstances, regulations to be finalized in this Administration should be proposed no later than June 1, 2008, and final regulations should be issued no later than November 1, 2008,”
As Grist noted, it seems that the administration didn’t get its own message and will use an old regulatory trick to bring some bad legislation into law: midnight regulations. Such shady activity leaves little time for well considered debate and results in wasted time when the next administration has to “clean house,” often leaving scores of ill considered laws on the books.
One law that many are working hard to implement is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). As many have shouted from the rooftops, UIGEA is an vague piece of legislation that is less regulation on internet gambling and more a mandate on banks and payment processing companies. It would do absolutely nothing to stop gambling. What it would do is put more of a burden on the back of an already stumbling financial services industry.
Bush should stick to his administration’s promise to do nothing.