American Spectator discuss regulations with CEI's Vincent Vernuccio, Myron Ebell, and Wayne Crews.
Democrats failed miserably in legislative attempts to eliminate the secret ballot in union organizing elections, so now the National Labor Relations Board is poised to accomplish the same thing by other means. Called "remote electronic voting," it effectively would allow union representatives to descend on a worker and "ask" him to use his personal computer or other device to vote in favor of unionizing his workplace. The NLRB didn't even allow a normal comment period, but just announced its intention to issue the rule while asking for "vendor" or "industry comments only." Explains Vincent Vernuccio of CEI: "Not only does this circumvent Congress, but it even circumvents the regular notice-and-comment procedures." (Even worse, remote electronic voting isn't safe: when the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics ran a test of its planned remote electronic voting system for municipal elections, a group of college students promptly hacked into it and caused it to play the University of Michigan fight song every time a vote was cast.)
Never mind that trucking companies already are constantly trying, due to market forces, to improve their fuel economy. The EPA and the NHTSA jointly are proposing to force a 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions by the 2018 model year. Like the ethanol mandate, this is counterproductive: technology likely can't achieve that stupendously aggressive goal by 2018. "The only way to increase fuel efficiency as quickly as EPA's proposal requires will be to move less freight [per individual payload]," said Myron Ebell of CEI. Result: More big trucks on the road to carry the same amount of cargo, thus driving up prices and causing, at least in the short run, more emissions (because, say, 10 trucks each carrying x-minus-20 percent pounds emits more carbon than 9 trucks each carrying x pounds).
Those costs are just for the new rules. Overall, as Clyde Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) reported, "a very rough extrapolation from an evaluation of the federal regulatory enterprise by economist Mark Crain estimates that annual regulatory compliance costs hit $1.187 trillion in 2009.… Regulatory costs are equivalent to 63 percent of all 2007 corporate pretax profits of $1.89 trillion.… Regulatory costs exceed estimated 2009 individual income taxes of $953 billion by 25 percent." It's all so overwhelming, in fact that U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donohue in a recent column called it "a regulatory hurricane."
Read the full article at the American Specator.