Obama Defends Misguided Spending Stimulus on One-Year Anniversary

Today on the anniversary of Porkulus, President Barack Obama and his staff are defending the massive spending stimulus and sweeping financial, health care, energy efficiency, “green job” and other interventions.

We have called instead for a major “Deregulatory Stimulus” to reject endless political stimulus and liberalize the economy.

Meanwhile, alongside trillions in spending, regulations now exceed $1.2 trillion a year and are growing at the rate of over 3,000 new rules a year.

So the interventions of dozens of Departments, agencies and commissions regulate need rollback too. Along with deregulatory stimulus, the President should review all regulations on the books, and streamline and control the $1 trillion regulatory state.

Here again are things to do, in no particular order:

– Implement a bi-partisan “Regulatory Reduction Commission.”
– Re-discover federalism, that is, circumscribe the federal regulatory role regarding health and safety matters best left to states.
– Improve the ethic of quantifying regulatory costs, and selecting the least-cost compliance method.
– Codify Clinton’s executive order on “Regulatory Planning and Review” (E.O. 12866), or better, Reagan’s E.O. 12291.
– Require OMB’s Regulatory Information Service Center to publish number of major and minor rules produced by each agency, and strengthen its oversight.
– Reinstate the Regulatory Program of the U.S. Government, which used to appear routinely as a companion document to the Budget.
– Enlarge regulatory flexibility and exemptions for small business
– Declare Federal Register notices as insufficient notice to small business
– Hold hearings to boost the scope of the Small Business Administrations’ “r3” regulatory review program.
– Lower the threshold at which a point-of-order against unfunded mandates applies.
– Lower the threshold for what counts as an “economically significant” rule, and improve explicit cost analysis.
– Explore, hold hearings on, and devise a limited “regulatory budget.”
– Establish an annual Presidential address or statement on the state of regulation and its impact on productivity and GDP.
– Sunset regulations after fixed period unless explicit reauthorization is made. (It’s been said that regulations should expire like a carton of milk).
– Implement a supermajority requirement for extraordinarily costly mandates.
– Challenge and reject delegation of legislative authority from Congress to agencies; That is, require Congressional fast-track approval before major or non-quantifiable agency-promulgated regulations take effect.