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May 31, 2011

Our 21st-Century Regulatory System – The Event!

We continue to monitor the progress being made on President Obama’s “21st-Century Regulatory System” initiative intended to not only promote “economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation," but also to “root out regulations that are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb.”

After spending the first two years of his administration adding thousands of regulations, from expensive health care mandates that dictate how, when, where, and what kind of health care businesses must provide to their employees to financial regulations that dictate how, when, where, and what kind of fees and services they may offer consumers, the President has come through on his promise to fundamentally transform the relationship between the people and their government.  And so we present you his 21st-Century Regulatory Action Plan:

Reduce paperwork.

We know what you’re thinking, “Don’t think we didn’t notice you took four days off and didn’t even bother to let us know. It’s not that we’re angry. We’re just… disappointed.”

Also, “Oh. My. God. Will we even recognize the federal government once President Obama is done totally transforming it?”

Maybe, maybe not. While the President is preserving those core governmental functions that are essential to its principle function of preserving the liberty of Americans from foes both domestic and foreign, such as making sure that no American will ever be under the threat of purchasing an incandescent light bulb or inadvertently fall prey to a toilet that flushes water in excess of the amount federal regulators think it should.

But changes are on the way. In addition to reducing some paperwork, the Obama Administration is moving forward on a number of other initiatives (PDFs to follow).

For example, the folks at the Department of the Interior, after months of hard work scrutinizing their operations offered to:

“…explore a simplified market-based approach to arrive at the value of oil and gas for royalty purposes that could dramatically reduce accounting and paperwork requirements and costs on industry. “

Say, that could be great couldn’t it? You can tell how serious they are by the fact that they are exploring it. For example, I told Mrs. Moron that I was exploring the possibility of cutting back on our cable bill. That was 1994.

That’s not all, though:

BOEMRE is now considering ways to apply 'safety case' type performance standards, such as those widely applied internationally, to the U.S. offshore drilling regulatory regime.”

Sometimes you have to create regulations in order to destroy them.

Health and Human Services took a similar approach to heeding the President’s call that his departments reduce regulatory burdens:

While HHS’s systematic review of regulations will focus on the elimination of rules that are no longer justified or necessary, the review will also consider strengthening, complementing, or modernizing rules where necessary or appropriate—including, if relevant, undertaking new rulemaking.”

It’s like when you tell your husband to clean out the garage at the end of which he determines he needs a Jet Ski.

The dedicated employees of the Department of Transportation take a slightly different approach to meeting the President’s goal of reviewing regulations by patiently pointing out that they already do that:

“IV. Current agency efforts already underway independent of E.O. 13563 a. Summary of pre-existing agency retrospective analyses of existing rules.

i. Overview. For many years, the Department has been conducting two general categories of retrospective reviews of existing rules. The first is a regular review of all existing rules over a 10-year period. The second consists of special reviews conducted on either an ad hoc basis or as part of a plan.”

While we could just fold up shop and end our series on the President’s 21st- Century Regulatory System right here, we have decided to stay on the job, excited at the progress we expect federal bureaucrats to make as they excitedly explore ways to reduce their own power and influence.


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May 31, 2011 at 05:20 PM in Our 21st-Century Regulatory System | Permalink


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