The Blog

Obama Administration on the Defensive Over Cost of Government Regulations

3:45 PM, Jul 7, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Well, this is rich. Wayne Crews at Forbes notes that Cass Sunstein, Obama's regulatory "czar", is insisting that government regulations cost no more than $62 billion. What's more, Sunstein is actively dismissing the conclusions of the Small Business Administration, who note that government regulations are extremely costly in economic terms:

One would be Cass Sunstein, head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), who recently wrote in the Washington Post that there is no “tsunami” of regulations to worry about, no matter what the Chamber of Commerce says. All is fine and dandy because OMB says regulations cost no more than $62 billion annually.

Sunstein, who is in charge of keeping tabs on the costs of government regulations, also recently saw it fit to undermine his colleagues at the Small Business Administration, telling a Senate hearing that SBA’s oft-cited report finding of $1.7 trillion in regulatory costs is an “urban legend.”

He may be a lot smarter than the rest of us and have more legal citations than anyone else in the Milky Way, but if Sunstein seriously contends that regulations aren’t costly or shouldn’t be fretted over — or that only “net benefits” matter — we have a real problem.

Crews has a thorough write-up of the specifics of this policy debate so read the whole thing, but note this sobering fact:

A simple perusal of the Federal Register shows over 430 rules costing over $65 billion so far this year alone, let alone the entire Crain universe of rules, which stops at 2008. As the Crains note, regulatory costs are often “indirect,” compared with direct taxation.

Recent Blog Posts