American Elephants

You Incompetent People Cannot Manage Your Lives Without Government Regulation.. by The Elephant's Child

Last week, 1,571 new pages of regulations were published in the 2012 Federal Register. That brings the total for this year to more than 55,300 pages. In those pages, 76 new final rules were approved.

That figure is equivalent to a new regulation every 2 hours and 13 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  That is absurd.

So far, 2708 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year. At its current pace the 2012 Federal Register will run to 79,463 pages.

President Obama is out on the campaign trail, telling his listeners that Republicans’ only answer to anything — is to cut taxes, and to cut regulation — on Wall Street so they can do it all over again. He expects applause and a big laugh. Stupid Republicans!

Republicans have been attempting to tell the President and Congress for the last 4 years (well, longer than that) that one of the big reasons that businesses are not hiring, is the burden of regulation. The National Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations have tried to lobby the government, to make them understand that excessive regulation is a big problem. They will not listen, because they know better. There are just so many things that annoy the perpetually discontented, and now that they are in charge, they must fix things. The people must conform to their ideas, however dumb.

There are rules and there are economically significant regulations. If they have costs of $100 million or more a year. Most businesses or kinds of businesses would consider that to be significant. The 36 economically significant rules published so far in 2012 have compliance costs of at least $17.4 billion. So far, 521 final rules affect small business. 72 of them are significant rules. Why would anyone think this might be a problem? Only small businessmen who must consider the risk of investment and the chances of earning a profit. (For Democrats, if there’s no profit, they go out of business entirely).

— Last week’s economically significant rule comes from— the EPA. It has set new performance standards for oil refineries under five years old. Estimated compliance costs are $79 million, but EPA estimates range from $200 million to $1.9 billion. Translation: they have no clue.

— The EPA also published a rule on paper mill emissions. They estimate $5.9 million in capital costs and $2.1 million in annually recurring costs. They declined to quantify benefits because they “were unable to quantify the emissions reductions associated with the new requirements in the final rule.”  Translation: they don’t know if there are any benefits, but they love making rules — the Clean Air Act is a great catch-all. They are truly zealous, constantly grasping for more power and issuing more useless rules. The agency should be abolished.

— Alpha Natural Resources announced today it would be laying off 1,200 workers and closing eight coal mines to face two new challenges: cheap natural gas and “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal.” Coal supplies nearly half of the energy that supplies our economy, and cheap energy has propelled private enterprise to success. President Obama, at the urging of his Big Green supporters, doesn’t like coal. He likes windmills and solar cells (which he buys from China with Stimulus dollars). In July 175 goal-fired generators, or 8.5 % of total coal-fired capacity was expected to be closed in 2012.

— PBS Coals and RoxCoal Inc. laid off 225 workers, citing aggressive regulations. Ohio American Energy announced layoffs in Ohio and 50 employees would be affected. Patriot Coal filed for bankruptcy in July, which will impact 250 jobs in Southern West Virginia. Just subtract these out-of-work citizens from the approximately 300,000 jobs that Obama can possibly claim the economy created.

The 4.5 million jobs he claims to have created were always fantasy.


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