With another 428,000 new unemployment filings last week, the flood of bad economic news continues to point to a recessionary “double dip” that President Barack Obama’s $859 billion stimulus program was supposed to
And let’s not forget that, while Obama and a Democratic Congress were “pump-priming” as never before, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke was simultaneously injecting another $1.6 trillion in freshly printed bills into the economy. Surely now the Keynesian belief that massive government spending is the way to ignite economic growth during a recession has been utterly and forever discredited.
But a congressional report released last week added another layer of explanation for the abject failure of Obamanomics since 2009. Along with the explosion of federal spending, Obama directed his appointees at key federal departments and agencies to embark on an unprecedented expansion of bureaucratic regulation.
Thousands of new bureaucrats were hired at places such as the Department of Heath and Human Services and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and legions of costly new regulations soon poured forth.
The report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, took aim at Obama’s “regulatory tsunami,” concluding that the pace and scale of new regulations threatens the ability of the government to fulfill even its most basic regulatory functions.
Here’s how the congressional panel summarized its conclusions:
“The Obama administration has created a regulatory environment that is suffocating America’s entrepreneurs’ ability to create jobs and grow businesses. This regulatory tsunami has caused job creators to lock down at a time when we need them to expand.
“The committee has found that the problems created by this regulatory tsunami goes far beyond the cost of the regulations themselves, but also include breakdowns in the regulatory process itself that is having a severe impact on large and small businesses alike.”
Specifically, the panel found at least 219 “economically significant regulations in the pipeline, which if finalized, will impose costs of $100 million or more annually on the economy.” That’s a minimum of $219 billion in added costs to do business in this country over the next decade. Even worse, the panel found the Obama bureaucrats have already imposed 75 major new regulations that are projected to add another $380 billion in costs.
The Issa panel concluded that, as a result of this flood of new rules, “the regulatory process is broken” and that it is “being manipulated and exploited in an effort to reward allies of the Obama administration such as environmental groups, trial lawyers and unions.”