Saturday, February 4, 2017

Obama Issued Regulations Costing Nearly $900 Billion

According to an American Action Forum report, the 8 years of the Obama administration issued regulations costing the US $890 Billion.  In terms of major regulations, Obama is in a class by himself.   President Obama will average at least 83 major rules annually, 18 percent more than President Clinton and 33 percent more than President Bush. The Obama Administration also set a single-year record for the number of major rules issued in 2010 (100) and then broke their own record in 2016 (with 104).
With a last-minute flourish of $24 billion in final regulatory costs in the last three weeks, the Obama Administration passed $890 billion in cumulative burdens. The record-breaking regulatory output of 2016, which imposed the most major rules in history, capped perhaps the most aggressive regulatory record in history. From the available data on the American Action Forum’s (AAF), the Bush Administration averaged $42 billion in annual final rule costs. The Obama Administration more than doubled that figure, with $111 billion in annual final burdens.
Of course, the problem here is that these regulations are abrasive in the metaphorical gears of the American economy's machine.  They slow down industries, reduce hiring, reduce employment, and reduce pay.  These cost burdens break down as:
  • Total Costs: $890 billion
  • Annual Costs: $139 billion
  • Annual Paperwork: 549 million hours
  • Rules Costing More than $1 billion: 113
The end result, though, is that somebody has to bear that $890 billion in costs, and that someone is the American people.

For perspective, during the last four years of the Bush Administration, it imposed more than $159 billion in burdens; President Obama and his regulators published more than that in 2016 alone, $164 billion, which is nothing compared to Obama's total of $218 billion in 2012!

Who are the big offenders?   I bet I don't have to tell you the most expensive regulations came from the EPA.  Breitbart summarized it as follows:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued $344 billion worth of regulations during the Obama administration, and implemented the most expensive regulations out of all government agencies, according to the study.

The Department of Energy came in second, issuing $194 billion in regulations over the last eight years.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued $104 billion in regulations as it worked to roll out Obamacare provisions.

The Department of Transportation’s regulations totaled $58 billion, while the Department of Labor issued $56 billion worth of rules during Obama’s time in office.
In tabular format:
The AAF report slices and dices these numbers in all sorts of ways, for the truly interested. 



  1. Some of this is nothing more than politicians rewarding cronies. The greater environmental movement votes consistently and predominantly for left wing politicians. But I absolutely also believe that a lot of it was intentional anti-American activism both by politicians and activists bureaucrats in these agencies. The left in this country is actively working to destroy our country. Each group has their own reasons but there is a common thread and that is membership in or coordination with communist organizations within this country. The MSM knows this and refuses to report on it. For example ask yourself why some of these fascist rioters are not charged with serious crimes when arrested and why the DA doesn't use this as a wedge to force the rioter to reveal who their backer and organizers were? Also when some thug at a riot is arrested why doesn't one of the citizens who was harmed bring a civil suit against them? This would allow discovery and questioning under oath. But none of these things has ever happened. That seems very strange to me as though there is a conspiracy to keep all of this secret. Why didn't the police in Berkeley arrest any of these thugs? Why did the mayor tell the police not to arrest anyone? This is not a good thing in a democracy.

  2. I'd only add two things: first "politicians rewarding cronies" and "intentional anti-American activism both by politicians and activists bureaucrats in these agencies" are not mutually exclusive.

    It's widely alleged that the EPA encourages greenie activist groups to sue the Federal government so that a Federal judge will order the EPA to "do something". You can just imagine dollars flowing like a river back and forth between EPA officials and the green lobby.

  3. Re: laws/regulations designed to reward cronies.

    In 1990 a friend and I would take our morning coffee break at a small mall next to our work. Mostly very small stores and a few one man food places there. but there was a second floor with a Nike store and a lawyers office up there. A couple times a week a man in a electric wheelchair would ride into the area and literally bump the wheelchair against the stairs a few times then turn and ride away. Sure enough a few months later a law suit against the owner the wheel chair guy got $20k and the owner of the little mall had to install an elevator. End of story, right? Not exactly. We never saw the wheel chair guy again, obviously. But to make up for the cost of the elevator the owner raised the rents to the small stalls. One lady, happened to be a 50 something widow, who served up freshly made sandwiches soft drinks and salads for a reasonable price told me she had to give up her lease as she simply couldn't make a profit with the higher rent. Numerous other little businesses did the same thing.
    I remember this because I just read a few days ago of a similar thing in Southern California where a disabled person actually sued over 1000 businesses over picayune problems like a disabled parking sign at 49" high when the law mandates it is supposed to be 60" high. All small lawsuits, $10-20k such that it would cost more to fight it then to settle it. IMHO this is no accident but rather a case of lawmakers paying off trail lawyers for their support.