Since the Federalist Papers, America has debated “Energy in the Executive.” But President Obama’s 2014 agenda framed by his State of the Union address heralds a class warfare agenda, one fusing an “income inequality” theme with federal industrial policy and other activism.
“When I can act on my own without Congress, I’m going to do so,” Obama promises. This spend-and-transfer fixation makes Americans poorer and dependent except for the lucky few running things.
Others have argued for federal budget rationality as essential to any anti-poverty agenda. This series proposes a greater prosperity enhancing opportunity, streamlining the nearly $2 trillion regulatory state and ending the uncertainty, wealth destruction and job loss it creates.
Congressional accountability and even something as dramatic as passage of the REINS Act (to require Congress to affirm major agency rules) would target future mandates rather than the existing regulatory state.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pegs costs at up to $84 billion as of 2013 (Draft Report on Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulation, p. 3), a far from inclusive underestimate.
To deal with the existing enterprise of hundreds of billions of dollars annually, Congress should implement an ongoing Regulatory Reduction Commission to streamline aggregate regulation. Former Senator Phil Gramm (R-Texas) first proposed such an idea, modeled on the military Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC).
The Progressive Policy Institute has embraced a similar idea, calling it a Regulatory Improvement Commission, perhaps making this now bipartisan idea capable of the most traction in a regulatory reform campaign.