Yesterday President Obama wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal calling for balance between regulations that protect the population and those that promote economic growth. It's one more step on the president's road to the center. But is Obama really willing to embrace a noninterventionist, or at least skeptical, regulatory policy? Walter Olson has his doubts:
So what does Obama see as an example of an excessive regulation needing repeal? The example he offers is the inclusion of the sweetener saccharin in the category of hazardous waste. Really? Saccharin as hazardous waste? Amid dozens of high-stakes, much-studied regulatory controversies, the only one he could come up with is one that — with all due respect to the people who make the little pink packets — is of hardly any significance to the wider economy, and not much more as a matter of principle?
As President Reagan used to say, "Dovery no provery"—"Trust but verify." Actions matter more than words. If Obama wants to promote economic growth, he needs to start by reining in his EPA. Ordering it to reinstate Arch Coal's license for a new mine in West Virginia would show that he's serious.