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Regulatory Reform: A Brief Update

In last week’s post on the regulatory state I surmised that “a retrospective review of the [Obama administration’s] retrospective review exercise would prove it to be largely pointless.” Well, not quite. As the American Action Forum’s excellent Sam Batkins explains, agency review of old, outdated regulations has actually added some $14.7 billion in costs. Thank you, Doctor Sunstein.

To the iron laws of the administrative state, we should add the following:

  1. It’s always worse than Greve thinks.
  2. Never permit the administrative state to look back. Instead, let the heralded purposes of Congress and of rulemakings past get lost in the vast hallways of the federal bureaucracy.
Reader Discussion

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on August 31, 2015 at 12:11:07 pm

"...agency review of old, outdated regulations has actually added some $14.7 billion in costs. Thank you, Doctor Sunstein."

Gee, what a surprise! I would not lay all the blame of Dear Ole' Cass. He could not have accomplished this feat without the help of legions of fellow travelers whose first impulse would be to determine "how we can make it better" or *fix* prior errors RATHER than starting with an examination of the underlying premises.
No doubt they have come up with even "stricter scrutiny" of little girls lemonade stands instead of issuing a few million pink slips to their brethren.

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gabe
on August 31, 2015 at 13:26:20 pm

It is encouraging to see the reference to the **administrative** state rather than just its adjunct **regulatory** state.

As noted elsewhere, the FAS [Federal Administrative State] allocates obligations and delineates relationships. The regulatory aspect began with oversight of privately undertaken obligations and relationships - undertaken for private objectives. Of course, that regulatory function now embraces those allocated obligations and delineated relationships.

It will be some months yet, and no "candidates" are speaking to the issue, but perhaps - just perhaps - some reduction of this increasing pressure and its force on fiscal fragmentation may be brought to us by a disciple of Donald J. Devine and his exemplary service (1981-85) in dealing with this issue.

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R Richard Schweitzer
on September 01, 2015 at 10:26:31 am

"worse than Greve thinks"--back to reading Carl Schmitt

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Ken Masugi

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