Category Archives: President Trump

Congress Needs To Take Ownership Of Regulations


The preceding posting “Federal Regulations And Intervention Cost America Consumers And Businesses $1.9 Trillion In 2016, discussed the scope and effect regulations have on the economy.  This posting will look at some solutions.

From the CEI posting titled “Ten Thousand Commandments 2017comes the following excerpts:

A regulatory liberalization agenda would provide genuine economic stimulus and offer some confidence and certainty for businesses and entrepreneurs.

Steps to Improve Regulatory Disclosure

Certainly, some regulations’ benefits exceed costs, but net benefits or even actual costs are known for very few. Without more complete regulatory accounting, it is difficult to know whether society wins or loses as a result of rules.

An incremental but important step toward greater openness would be for Congress to require— or for the Office of Management and Budget to initiate—publication of a summary of available but scattered data.

Regulations fall into two broad classes: (a) those that are economically significant (costing more than $100 million annually) and (b) those that are not. Agencies typically emphasize reporting of economically significant or major rules, which OMB also tends to emphasize in its annual assessments of the regulatory state. A problem with this approach is that many rules that technically come in below that threshold can still be very significant in the real-world sense of the term.

Ending Regulation without Representation: The Unconstitutionality Index—27 Rules for Every Law

Agencies do not answer to voters. Yet in a sense, regulators and the administration, rather than Congress, do the bulk of U.S. lawmaking. But agencies are not the only culprits. For too long, Congress has shirked its constitutional duty to make the tough calls. Instead, it delegates substantial lawmaking power to agencies and then fails to ensure that they deliver benefits that exceed costs.

Agencies face significant incentives to expand their turf by regulating even without demonstrated need. The primary measure of an agency’s productivity—other than growth in its budget and number of employees—is the body of regulation it produces. One need not deplete too much time and energy blaming agencies for carrying out the very regulating they were set up to do in the first place.

For perspective, consider that in calendar year 2016 regulatory agencies issued 3,853 final rules, whereas the 114th Congress passed and President Obama signed into law a comparatively few 214 bills. Thus, there were 18 rules for every law in 2016 (see Figure 24). The ratio can vary widely, but the average over the decade has been 27 rules for every law. Rules issued by agencies are not usually substantively related to the current year’s laws; typically, agencies administer earlier legislation. Still, this perspective is a useful way of depicting flows and relative workloads.

Regulatory reforms that rely on agencies policing themselves will not rein in the regulatory state or fully address regulation without representation. Rather, making Congress directly answerable to voters for the costs that agencies impose on the public would best promote accountable regulation. Congress should vote on agencies’ final rules before such rules become binding on the public.

Well, why don’t they vote on agency final rules?

Concern about mounting national debt incentivizes Congress to regulate rather than to increase government spending to accomplish policy ends.

By regulating instead of spending, government can expand almost indefinitely without explicitly taxing anybody one extra penny.

This creates unfunded liabilities. Leaving the people regulated to fund the regulation. Congress could pass a law intending to reduce homicides in the US by requiring an increase of police officers per square mile of city area to match New York’s successful program of 119 officers per square mile.. This would require, for example, a doubling of Chicago’s police force according to a posting by Politics & City Life titled “City Size and Police Presence.” This might be a great idea, but either fund it or let the people in Chicago decide if they want to double the police force.

Affirmation of new major regulations would ensure that Congress bears direct responsibility for every dollar of new regulatory costs. The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS) Act (H.R. 26, S. 21), sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), offers one such approach. It would require Congress to vote on all economically significant agency regulations—those with estimated annual costs of $100 million or more. It has passed the House in the current and three previous congressional sessions but has not moved forward in the Senate.

Congressional rather than agency approval of regulations and regulatory costs should be the goal of reform. When Congress ensures transparency and disclosure and finally assumes responsibility for the growth of the regulatory state, the resulting system will be one that is fairer and more accountable to voters.

Please read the entire CEI report by clicking here.

cbdakota

Federal Regulations And Intervention Cost American Consumers And Businesses $1.9 trillion In 2016.”


President Trump says he wants to drain the SWAMP.  When I think of draining the swamp, I think of shrinking the government.  Specifically aimed at getting rid of the many bureaucrats that are virtually a law unto themselves.  They are not working to carry out the Executive and Legislative wishes, but rather to impose their agendas. They do this by co-opting legislative authority though regulations and rulemaking and by employing “red tape” to detour the executive intentions.   (This is often known as the Deep State.)

The Competitive Enterprise Institute(CEI)’s Vice President for Policy and the US economy, Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr. produces an annual survey of the size and scope and cost of federal regulations. Then that is translated into how those regulations affect the American consumers, business and the US economy. Crews reports that “Federal regulations and intervention cost American consumers and businesses $1.9 trillion in 2016.”

 

Crews’ effort is captured in the following posting “Ten Thousand Commandments 201: A Fact Sheet”:

Federal government spending, deficits, and the national debt are staggering, but so is the impact of federal regulations. Unfortunately, regulations get little attention in policy debates because, unlike taxes, they are unbudgeted, difficult to quantify, and their effects are often indirect. By making Washington’s rules and mandates more comprehensible, Crews underscores the need for more review, transparency, and accountability for new and existing federal regulations.

The 2017 report is unique and will serve as a benchmark to measure President Trump’s efforts to cut red tape against those of his predecessors. President Obama’s final year in office showed a regulatory surge. Will Trump keep his promise and slam the breaks on overregulation?

 

Highlights from the 2017 edition include:

 Federal regulations and intervention cost American consumers and businesses $1.9 trillion in 2016. When you add the taxpayer dollars government agencies spent administering these regulations, the total cost of the regulatory state reached $1.963 trillion last year.

 Federal regulation is a hidden tax that amounts to nearly $15,000 per U.S. household each year.

 In 2016, 214 laws were enacted by Congress during the calendar year, while 3,853 rules were issued by agencies. Thus, 18 rules were issued for every law enacted last year.

If it were a country, U.S. federal regulation would be the world’s seventh-largest economy, ranking behind India and ahead of Italy. 

    Many Americans are concerned about their annual tax burden, but total regulatory costs exceeded the $1.92 trillion the IRS collected in both individual and corporate income taxes in 2016.

 Some 60 federal departments, agencies, and commissions have 3,318 regulations in development at various stages in the pipeline.

The five most active rulemaking entities–the Departments of the Treasury, Interior, Transportation, Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency–account for 1,428 rules, or 43 percent of all federal regulations, under consideration.

 The 2016 Federal Register contains 95,894 pages, the highest level in its history and 19 percent higher than the previous year’s 80,260 pages.

 Last year, the Obama administration averaged 86 “major” rules, a 36 percent higher average annual output than that of George W. Bush. Obama issued 685 major rules during his term, compared with Bush’s 505.

 

That is quick look at the Federal regulations and intervention that cost American consumers and businesses $1.9 trillion in 2016.

Deplorable!

Crews has some ideas, worthy of consideration, on how to fix this major, and growing problem.  That’s next.

cbdakota

President Trump’s Speech On Infrastructure And The Swamp


The “swamp” that President Trump plans to clear is inhabited by hold-over big government partisans and the way over the top regulations.  President Trump’s experience in the building trades has shown him how the swamp works and he wants to change it. 

He gave a speech in early June announcing his overall plan calling for the investment of something in the range of $1 trillion of new and updated infrastructure.  Excerpts from the speech are shown in the following:

“We are here today to focus on solving one of the biggest obstacles to creating this new and desperately needed infrastructure, and that is the painfully slow, costly, and time-consuming process of getting permits and approvals to build.  And I also knew that from the private sector.  It is a long, slow, unnecessarily burdensome process.

My administration is committed to ending these terrible delays once and for all.  The excruciating wait time for permitting has inflicted enormous financial pain to cities and states all throughout our nation and has blocked many important projects from ever getting off the ground.  Many, many projects are long gone because they couldn’t get permits and there was no reason for it.

For too long, America has poured trillions and trillions of dollars into rebuilding foreign countries while allowing our own country — the country that we love — and its infrastructure to fall into a state of total disrepair.  We have structurally deficient bridges, clogged roads, crumbling dams and locks.  Our rivers are in trouble.  Our railways are aging.  And chronic traffic that slows commerce and diminishes our citizens’ quality of life.  Other than that, we’re doing very well.

Instead of rebuilding our country, Washington has spent decades building a dense thicket of rules, regulations and red tape.  It took only four years to build the Golden Gate Bridge and five years to build the Hoover Dam and less than one year to build the Empire State Building.  People don’t believe that.  It took less than one year.  But today, it can take 10 years and far more than that just to get the approvals and permits needed to build a major infrastructure project. 

These charts beside me are actually a simplified version of our highway permitting process.  It includes 16 different approvals involving 10 different federal agencies being governed by 26 different statutes

As one example — and this happened just 30 minutes ago — I was sitting with a great group of people responsible for their state’s economic development and roadways.  All of you are in the room now.  And one gentleman from Maryland was talking about an 18-mile road.  And he brought with him some of the approvals that they’ve gotten and paid for.  They spent $29 million for an environmental report, weighing 70 pounds and costing $24,000 per page.

We will get rid of the redundancy and duplication that wastes your time and your money.  Our goal is to give you one point of contact to deliver one decision — yes or no — for the entire federal government, and to deliver that decision quickly, whether it’s a road, whether it’s a highway, a bridge, a dam.”

Nuclear reactor that generate electricity have been so bedeviled by all the regulations that raise the cost of building so high that investors are reluctant to take a chance.   If you have been around for a while you know that the green environmental machine has made nukes a target even though it essentially makes no CO2 when in operation. That they reject these units that have an excellent safety record, seems counterproductive.

It will take a lot of work to get these unnecessary systems revised. Using metaphors, lots of oxen to gore and sacred cows get rid of—thus a lot of people will be fighting Trump’s agenda.  Huge, wasteful, big government is fighting back. We need to keep supporting Trump’s initiatives. 

The numbers of regulations are staggering.  Next posting will show how big the job of getting rid of these many regulations there are.

Read President Trump’s full speech by clicking here.

h/t Camille Paglia

cbdakota

More virtue signaling-Bloomberg assembles group to take responsibility for the Paris Agreement


More virtue signaling. Bloomberg organizes Governors, mayors, businesses, commit to Paris climate pact goals” according to a posting on the Hill.com. ** The posting says that they are going to abide by the Paris Agreement.  So, they are going to reduce the US CO2 emissions. Do you think the people that they serve will back them up even though it will cost many of them their jobs and increase the cost of living for all?  A big maybe.  Polling has shown that many people like the idea combating “global warming” but most of them do not like the expense of carrying out a big global warming program.

And the kicker will be that they will have to pony up the money that the Paris Agreement needs.  Annually the Green Climate Fund requires $100 billion every year beginning in 2020. I am not sure what the share of the $100 billion this Bloomberg group will be required to put up each year, but I think the share the US government was expected to provide was about 25%.  $25 billion each year for ever.  And it might be more, because some re-evaluations by the Paris Agreement folks are talking estimates like $400 billion per year as the program evolves— that would mean that the Bloomberg group would have to perhaps provide $100 billion per year. 

The Green Climate Fund has been active for a number of years as a means of putting together the program.  The goal was to initially get $10 billion. The pledges had reached $10 billion.  But pledges are just that—pledges.  They really don’t have $10 billion in hard cash. The US had pledged $3 billion but at least $2 billion will not be sent to the Fund now. If these nations are having trouble supplying a $10 billion one time funding, what does that tell you about their willingness to fund a $100 billion per year fund?

 My guess is the Bloomberg group will join the other big talkers and find that their treasuries really don’t have the money to support the $100 billion per year.  

cbdakota

**http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/336403-governors-mayors-businesses-commit-to-paris-climate-pact-goals

Obama Administration Set New Record for Number Of Pages Of Regulations In 2016


The Wall Street Journal posted “The $600BillionMan-A new report highlights one cost of Obama legacy.” (The posting is behind a paywall.  Fortunately SePP* summarized the WSJ posting for us.) The summary is as follows:

SUMMARY: “As if taxes haven’t been high enough, the U.S. Government also forced Americans to spend an eye-watering $1.9 trillion in 2016 just to comply with federal regulations. That’s according to the latest annual “10,000 Commandments” report released today by Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. ‘If it were a country, U.S. regulation would be the world’s seventh-largest economy, ranking behind India and ahead of Italy,’ notes Mr. Crews. He adds that our regulatory tab is nearly as large as the total pretax profits of corporations.

 “Mr. Crews has become one of the most hated men in Washington by tabulating the hidden costs—those not counted in the roughly $4 trillion of direct federal spending—that politicians and bureaucrats impose on the American economy. And nobody imposed more than Barack Obama. According to the Crews annual scorecards, the yearly cost of federal regulation soared by more than $700 billion in nominal dollars from 2008, the last full year of the Bush Administration, through Mr. Obama’s final full year of 2016. Adjusting for inflation, you can call Mr. Obama the $600 Billion Man.

 “One measure of the amount of red tape spewing out of Washington is the number of pages of proposed and final rules printed in the Federal Register. ‘Of the top 10 all-time-high Federal Register page counts, seven occurred under President Barack Obama,’ notes Mr. Crews. And let’s hope that Mr. Obama’s latest record, set on his final lap in 2016, will never be broken. Mr. Crews reports that the register ‘finished 2016 at 95,894 pages, the highest level in its history and 19 percent higher than the previous year’s 80,260 pages.

Unelected bureaucrats are killing businesses with their avalanche of regulations and the resulting cost of implementing them.  But the Obama Administration was the worst offender.   Seven of Obama’s eight years in office, his administration was in the top ten of Federal Register Page Count.  With the 2016 being the highest ever.

If you ever wonder what President Trump means when he says the “swamp needs draining”, this is it.

cbdakota

*SePP=Science & Environmental Policy Project

 

Media Ignorance Concerning The Paris Agreement


The ignorance shown by the media regarding the Paris Agreement leads me to wonder is it incompetence of just out-right lies.  The primary argument often is, quoting the editorial in the local newspaper, “By breaking ranks with nearly 200 nations, the United States joins only Syria (which is riven by civil war) and Nicaragua ….”  More on this paragraph below, but first about the 200 nations.  According to the Paris Agreement’s Green Climate Fund, the majority of the almost 200 nations are to be given money from this fund.  As of May 2017, 41 nations have contributed or have pledged money to this fund. Reviewing the data, we find that of the 41 nations, 22 of them are in for $10 million or less, 6 are in for $100 million or less, 7 are in for $500 million or less, 1 is in for $750million or less and 5 are in for more than $1billion with the US the major player at $3 billion. Beginning 2020,  the Green Climate Fund will require that the donor nations provide a total of  $100 billion per year! So what has been given so far is chump change.

Well, what do the other 160 nations have to lose by not joining?  Free money is what they will lose if they don’t sign up.  In fact, only about 13 countries are contributing any serious money. The nearly “200 nations” is a bogus issue.

Continue reading

Correcting Harmful Wind Energy-Related Policies


The following are 5  Master Resource postings examining opportunities of the Trump Administration to correct harmful wind energy-related policies,

 

U.S. Wind Energy Policy: Correcting the Abuse in 100 Days (Part I)      2/2/17

https://www.masterresource.org/wind-power-federal-laws/us-wind-policy-reform-100-days-i/

 

Federal Energy Efficiency Mandates: DOE’s End Run vs. the Public Interest (Part II)

By Mark Krebs and Tom Tanton — January 31, 2017

https://www.masterresource.org/department-of-energymoniz/eere-end-run-ii/

 

Big Wind: Threat to Air Navigation, Military Assets (Part III)

By Lisa Linowes — February 16, 2017

https://www.masterresource.org/windpower-vs-radar/wind-versus-radar-iii/

 

DOE: Breaking the Federal Arm of the Wind Industry (Part IV)

By Lisa Linowes — February 23, 2017

https://www.masterresource.org/department-of-energymoniz/doe-breaking-federal-wind-iv/

 

Wind Energy and Aviation Safety (Part V)                        3/02/17

https://www.masterresource.org/windpower-safety-issues/wind-aviation-safety-v/

 

cbdakota