Friday, 30 September 2011

Rep. Don Young to Repeal Every Regulation Enacted Since 1991

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Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska, left)  plans to introduce a controversial bill that would abolish every federal regulation enacted in the past two decades, including restrictions on banking, oil drilling, healthcare, and food and drug safety. "My bill is very simple, I just null and void any regulations passed in the last 20 years," Young announced to a crowd at the Anchorage Downtown Rotary Club. "I picked 20 years ago because it crossed party lines and also we were prosperous at that time. And no new regulations until they can justify them."

Rep. Young’s legislation is still in development, but the premise of the bill is to dissolve burdensome regulations that hamper American businesses from growing and prospering in the sluggish U.S. economy. "The main thing is if an agency can’t justify a regulation, it shouldn’t be on the board," he contended. "The overall idea behind the legislation is to make sure an agency justifies these regulations." The Alaskan congressman did however cede to the likely fate that his proposal would be barricaded by the Democratic-led Senate or stamped with a veto by President Obama.

Regardless of the bill’s details, the binding reality is regulatory agencies have boomed over the past decade, and at a more progressive rate during the Obama administration. According to a study by the Heritage Foundation, 75 new major regulations have been enacted — costing $38 billion annually — since President Obama took office. The New American reported last month:

According to the Government Accountability Office, between October 2010 and March of this year, 1,827 rulemaking proceedings were completed, 37 of which were classified as "significant" or "major," meaning their expected economic impact surpassed $100 million per year. According to estimates by regulatory agencies, 15 of these new major regulations have combined annual costs of a whopping $5.8 billion.

The number of pages in the Federal Register, which chronicles all new and proposed rules and regulations, jumped 18 percent in 2010. Further, the Federal Register documents more than 4,200 regulations in waiting, not including new EPA clean air rules, ObamaCare mandates, new fuel economy standards, or Dodd-Frank regulations.

Young later admitted that some regulations are necessary, but that he’s interested in repealing "regulations that do not have any founding." Responding to a question about Wall Street regulation, he said, "When we deregulated the financial institutions, which we did I believe probably 10 years ago, we created some problems. There’s no doubt about that."

Luke Miller, Young’s spokesman, wrote in an email that the congressman believes it’s blasphemous that the "thousands of rules that Congress never intended and has not approved" are burdening American taxpayers with over $1.75 trillion per year. "While there are certainly regulations that are essential for public health and safety, the amount of regulations coming from the federal government and the extent to how they affect everyday life in America is outrageous," Miller said.

As Young’s legislation further develops, opponents of the proposal will be emerging from the woodworks, as they exploit the weighty "importance" of consumer safety and environmental protection. An attendant at the Rotary Club luncheon, Deborah Williams, former director of the Alaska Democratic Party, inferred that Young’s legislation would be calamitous to America’s well-being, as it would repeal rules on deep sea oil wells and subject consumers to dangerous health costs, due to lacking food and drug regulations.

But Young argues that in the past 20 years, a wide array of regulations have been fused into the U.S. economy, infecting nearly every sector of society, from industry, banking, aviation, energy extraction, and food production. He contends that American politics, and a corrupt Congress and executive that continually oppresses the private sector, must be reformed. "We’ve got to make the public less comfortable and more interested in the benefits that they should be providing because of economic well-being for future generations," he said.

Whether Mr. Young’s full intent is to extinguish every regulation on the books since 1991 is unclear, because the legislation is still being developed and he has somewhat backpedaled due to recent criticism. But nevertheless, his message is clear: "The idea behind the legislation is simple; if an agency cannot justify the benefit of a regulation, then it has no business being on the books."

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