Our friends at the American Action Forum highlight the regulatory wave of the past four years:
On paper, or at least in the editorial pages, 2012 was supposed to be a year of deregulation. President Obama’s regulatory Czar, Cass Sunstein, wrote that the government would work “to eliminate unjustified regulatory costs and to reduce burdens.” In one respect, Administrator Sunstein was correct; in 2012 the government published $2.5 billion in regulatory rescissions. However, those cost savings were easily dwarfed by more than $236 billion in new burdens. This caps a $518 billion regulatory expansion during the last four years, more than the combined Gross Domestic Product of Portugal and Norway.
The year 2012 tops all during the past twelve years in terms of final rule cost but leading up to Election Day, the White House was stalling dozens of regulations. For example, during the first nine months of 2012, regulators added an average of 315 pages each day, compared to 271 pages leading up to Election Day. In fact, during the first ten months of 2012, the average review time for “economically significant” rules was 72 days. Compare to 2011, when the average review time was just 51 days, or another election year, 2004, when the review time was just 35 days. At one point, more than 84 percent of all rules under review were sitting at the White House for more than 90 days, 50 percent longer than in 2011.