Tags: Holtz-Eakin | regulation | Obama | cost

Holtz-Eakin on Costly Obama Regulations

By    |   Friday, 09 Jan 2015 07:39 AM

Moderately conservative economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal Jan. 8 to talk about a new report issued by his group, American Action Forum, which estimates the annual cost of regulations under this administration at $181.5 billion for 2014.

Holtz-Eakin explained that his group tracks all regulations issued by federal agencies, adds them up and asks whether they are worth it, but he acknowledged that this question raises value judgments, and people will disagree. He said a calculation of the cost is a starting point for the analysis. Host Greta Wodele Brawner asked how the costs of Obama's regulations compare with those of the George W. Bush administration. Holtz-Eakin responded that the Bush administration had some very expensive years, due mainly to defense-related regulations arising from the 9/11 attacks, and Holtz-Eakin called these regulations "costly and intrusive." The Obama regulations, he added, are concentrated in the healthcare and environmental areas.

Brawner played a clip of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaking before a labor group and accusing Republicans and too many Democrats of supporting deregulatory policies that turn big banks and corporation loose "to do whatever juiced short-term profits, even if it came at the expense of working families."

In response, Holtz-Eakin recalled that the Bush administration was marked by the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 in response to the Enron and WorldCom meltdown, so he pronounced himself "mystified" as to what deregulation she could be talking about, and he said he would like to see a list – "Sounds good; where's the beef?" (It occurs to this writer that the reference could be to lax enforcement of mortgage and other financial regulations rather than to the enactment of new regulations, and this is a different question.)

Brawner asked about specific industries that were most affected and the impact of those regulations on the economy. Holtz-Eakin pointed to the impact of environmental regulations on the usage of coal and gas, regulation of sulphur content of fuel that affects the way cars are made and he concluded that regardless of the focus of the regulations, the impact spreads through the entire economy, and he included the paperwork costs of compliance. As to how these costs are covered, Holtz-Eakin listed three choices — to pass the costs on to consumers, to pay workers less or to pay investors less.

As for how Republicans should respond, Holtz-Eakin suggested a more robust regulatory review process that would hold regulators more accountable and a "regulatory budget" that would place a limit on regulatory spending and require regulators to allocate regulatory costs in such a manner that if new regulatory proposals would have to be paid for by removing old regulations. He credited the European Union with taking a broad look at existing regulations, and he suggested this is a step the U.S. should also consider.

Brawner posted a map from the report showing the states where the greatest impact falls, and they are disproportionately California and Texas. (One could say that at least this is balanced from a partisan point of view.)

The discussion following Holtz-Eakin's presentation was uncommonly interesting, but no one was cynical enough to suggest that given the vast amounts of liquidity the Federal Reserve has been pumping into the economy, $180 billion or so isn't much money.

(Archived video can be found here.)

© 2017 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Robert-Feinberg
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal Jan. 8 to talk about a new report issued by his group, American Action Forum, which estimates the annual cost of regulations under this administration at $181.5 billion for 2014.
Holtz-Eakin, regulation, Obama, cost
561
2015-39-09
Friday, 09 Jan 2015 07:39 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved