The Growing Threat Of “Dark Matter” Regulations

Investor's Business Daily reports on Wayne Crews' study on the growing regulatory burden created by executive orders, which are hard to detect.

Author Clyde Wayne Crews found that, in addition to the pile of formal rules — which are supposed to, but often don't, undergo various public, congressional and executive reviews before enactment — agencies issue thousands of guidance documents, bulletins, letters and even blog posts.

Despite their potential impact, these don't come under any scrutiny whatsoever. In addition, the president can issue executive orders and executive memoranda that can have sweeping effects.

Crews calls this "regulatory dark matter," because, like celestial dark matter, it's "hard to detect, much less measure." But there's no doubt there is a lot of it. One analysis found that the complete set of FAA rules would measure 2 inches thick. But FAA guidance documents total 40 feet.

Worse, this dark matter is expanding as regulators look to bypass even the meager restraints Congress has put on the official rule-making process.
Under Obama, regulatory guidance documents were used to make politically expedient changes to Obama-Care and turn most independent contractors into employees. More than 1,400 directives target the financial industry — 49 from the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Read the full article at Investor's Business Daily.