Rolling out the Red Tape for 2013
The Office of Management and Budget gave regulation geeks a present wrapped in red tape by finally releasing the 2012 “Unified Agenda” right before Christmas. Sam Batkins at the American Action Forum points out that the administration cobbled together its delayed Spring and Fall agendas into one regulatory smorgasbord.
Last fall, Marc Freedman, Executive Director for labor law policy at the U.S. Chamber, lamented this lack of transparency:
Bad enough that the administration is not forthcoming to the employer community that will actually have to live with any regulations, but those responsible for the administration’s regulatory program have also ignored inquiries from Congress.
Batkins pulled together a list of 40 proposed rules (out of 2,387) covering energy, the environment, food, the financial sector, health care, labor, and other areas. These alone could cost $123.2 billion and impose 13.6 million hours in paperwork on businesses.
Here are four “highlights:”
- A new ozone standard costing $90 billion.
- A final coal residuals rule costing $20.3 billion.
- Cooling Water Intake Rules costing $5.3 billion.
- Food labeling for restaurants and grocery stores, required by the health care law, which could cost $757 million.
As for financial rules, Hester Peirce at the Mercatus Center lists a few actions regulators could take in the continued implementation of Dodd-Frank including the Volcker Rule—estimated to impose 6.2 million paperwork hours--and determining what financial institutions will be “systemically important.” Couple that with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that has yet to define some of its regulatory language and money market fund regulators who don’t want to bother to see if earlier reforms worked, and you have a regulatory mess that leaves businesses without a compliance roadmap.
It looks like 2013 will be a lot like 2012 with a continued struggle against burdensome regulations.