From Eisenhower To Obama, This Is How Much Regulatory Spending Has Changed

By Susan Dudley and Melinda Warren at Forbes

May 17, 2016

If you need evidence that the regulatory climate in the United States has changed since the 1960s, consider some statistics from a study released today. In the final year of the Eisenhower administration, regulatory agencies had a combined budget of $533 million (equivalent to $3.4 billion in today’s dollars) and employed a little more than 57,000 people.

In contrast, President Obama’s recent budget proposal to Congress includes expenditures of $70 billion on regulatory activities, and a staff of well over a quarter million full-time regulators. Over the last 58 years, government spending to write and enforce regulation has increased more than 20-fold (after adjusting for inflation) and the number of bureaucrats has increased by a factor of five.

Read more at Forbes

Business groups forecast harm from Obama’s new overtime regulation

By Dave Boyer in The Washington Times

May 17, 2016

Industry groups reacted angrily Wednesday to the Obama administration’s new rule requiring companies to pay more overtime, saying it will hurt small businesses, lower the morale of salaried workers and discourage innovation.

The National Association of Manufacturers called the rule “the latest in what has been a deluge of regulations from this administration that are fundamentally altering the manufacturing workforce and negatively impacting companies and business owners.”

Read more at The Washington Times


Study: Obama issued $85B in regs this year

By Tim Devaney at The Hill

May 16, 2016

President Obama’s final year in office has been marked by a rapid increase in rulemaking to the cost of $85 billion, according to a new study from a conservative group.

The study from the American Action Forum found that the Obama administration has issued 44 economically significant regulations since the beginning of 2016, with each projected to have an impact of at least $100 million. This is the most any president has issued during an election year in the past two decades, the study notes.

Read more at The Hill

Regulations are a really big drag on US growth

By Mark J. Perry and Thomas A. Hemphill at American Enterprise Institute

May 16, 2016

When the Department of Commerce reported recently that the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of only 0.5% during the first quarter of 2016, the White House attributed the meager growth in output to weakness in business investment and exports.

Yet there is another important institutional influence often overlooked — or conveniently ignored — that negatively affects the country’s overall economic performance: the increasing impact of government regulations.

Read more at American Enterprise Institute

What’s the real unemployment rate?

By Nicholas Wells at CNBC

May 6, 2016

The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5 percent in April, according to figures released by the Labor Department on Friday. But does that tell the whole story?

On jobs Friday, the government puts out a ton of economic and employment-related data, each of which provides a certain perspective on the country’s economic situation. Economists look past the official employment rate (also know as the “U-3” number) to metrics that provide more nuanced views of employment.

Read more at CNBC

Income Redistribution Does Not Boost Economic Growth

By Jeffrey Dorfman at Forbes

May 8, 2016

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is famous for touting income redistribution, particularly SNAP (the food stamp program) and unemployment benefits, as an engine for economic growth. People who favor redistribution for other purposes often try to convince others to support them on the grounds that their favored policies will also create economic growth. However, this claim is only true when half of the policy is analyzed; once we look at all effects of these redistributive policies the economic growth supposedly created disappears.

First, let’s review the story as told by those in favor of redistribution. When the government provides benefits to people without much income or spending power, those people will immediately go out and spend all the money they receive. This spending creates an economic multiplier effect as those who get the dollars re-spend some of them in a virtuous cycle that means that a single dollar in government transfer payments can end up creating much more than one extra dollar in GDP. Common estimates are a little more or less than $2 for every $1 handed out.

Read more at Forbes

Cost of complying with federal regulations hits $1.9 trillion-higher than federal tax burden

By Jennifer Harper in The Washington Times

May 4, 2016

“Regulations cost more than the federal income tax,” stated a study released Wednesday by the nonprofit Competitive Enterprise Institute which reveals that the costs of complying with stifling new federal regulations hit $1.885 trillion — higher than the individual and corporate income tax burden of $1.82 trillion.

“It’s a huge hidden tax that amounts to about $15,000 per U.S. household each year,” the study noted.

Read more at The Washington Times


White House struggles to explain weak economy as Obama boasts of job growth

By Dave Boyer in The Washington Times

April 28, 2016

The White House labored Thursday to explain a first-quarter economic report showing the weakest growth in two years, even as President Obama was trumpeting his mastery of the economy in a New York Times Magazine interview.

The Department of Commerce reported that U.S. gross domestic product rose 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2016, the third straight sluggish start to a year. Consumer spending and business purchases both fell, continuing trends that could have ominous implications for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as she tries to claim the mantle as Mr. Obama’s successor.

Read more at The Washington Times