Regulation Nation—The Democrats’ Dreamby Don on Oct. 19, 2012, under Uncategorized
If you think life will calm way down after Election Day next month, think again. If the Democrats win, they will unleash the hounds of hell—the regulators. And, the United States of America will become Regulation Nation. A nation where virtually everything we do will be touched, in one way or another, by a federal regulator.
Millions of lines of regulatory guidance, covering thousands of pages, have been written by eager Democratic regulators. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other federal agencies are waiting to exercise the wide-ranging, culture-changing powers that come from the Affordable Care Act (“Obamcare”), the Dodd-Frank bank reform act and other Democrat-friendly laws.
To make matters worse, Democratic activists and their allies (e.g., extreme environmentalists) now have jobs in the federal government or have allies who do. They’re ready to use their wide array of regulatory powers to achieve traditional liberal goals. (E.g., choke the fossil fuel industry to death).
But, they’re waiting. Why? Election Day is next month.
Much of what the Democrats want to do is very unpopular. A majority of Americans oppose the Democrats’ visions for health care, the environment and our economy. Example—the 2010 mid-term elections, where the American people punished the Democrats for passing Obamacare against strong popular opposition to the plan. Also, most Americans don’t want to see energy costs “necessarily skyrocket,” to use the words that President Obama himself used in the 2008 elections, when he talked about the impacts his policies would have on the coal industry—an industry that supplies much of America’s energy. (Check out this YouTube video, starting at about the 30-second mark,to hear the president say it himself.)
Once the election is over, though, if the Democrats keep the White House and the Senate, the regulators will no longer be constrained by the will of the people. They won’t have to worry about pesky voters anymore. They’ll be free to run wild.
Washington Examiner columnist Mark Tapscott writes about the signals the executive branch is sending out—signals that the regulators are waiting for December 2012. (All emphasis is added).
President Obama is among the slickest practitioners ever of the Washington Wink-Wink — what professional politicians in both parties do when they say one thing while planning to do something else entirely.
There was, for example, Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to “cut the federal deficit in half.” And that “net federal spending cut” he would achieve by the end of his first term? Anybody think he didn’t know then that his first term would explode the deficit and spending to historic highs?
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., the ranking minority member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, sees more of the same from Obama on the Environmental Protection Agency front, which the Oklahoma Republican described in a detailed report he issued yesterday.
Here’s the first wink: “Obama has spent the past year punting on a slew of job-killing EPA regulations that will destroy millions of American jobs and cause energy prices to skyrocket even more,” Inhofe said. “From greenhouse gas regulations to water guidance to the tightening of the ozone standard, the Obama-EPA has delayed the implementation of rule after rule because they don’t want all those pink slips and price spikes to hit until after the election.”
For the second wink, Inhofe quotes Obama’s former White House environmental czar Carol Browner, who recently reassured impatient environmentalists with these words: “I can tell you, having spent two years in the White House with the president, that this is not a fad. The president believes deeply in these issues … there is no doubt in my mind this will be a big part of his to-do list and he will remain committed in the next four years.”
In other words, Browner was saying, just wait, because Obama fears he might not get re-elected if he went ahead with his EPA plans before the election.
Gee, that’s EXACTLY what nervous business owners, entrepreneurs and investors need to hear…a federal regulator reassuring environmentalists that they’ll be happy with what they see Washington do in the next four years.
Wonder why business owners are nervous? They’re starting to see the details of some of the regulations that the Inquisitors…excuse me, regulators have cooked up.
For example, how do The Regulators define the difference between full-time and part-time work? It must be one heck of a definition—it takes them EIGHTEEN PAGES to do it!
One of the most-anticipated new federal regulations governing which companies will be required to provide health insurance under Obamacare has finally landed–with a thud.
In the latest indication of how complicated putting the Affordable Care Act into action will be, the Department of Health and Human Services and Internal Revenue Service issued 18-pages of regulations just to describe what a “full-time employee” is. Of note, to the Feds a full-time employee works an average of just 30 hours a week, not the normally accepted 40 hours.
The lengthy 18-page definition caught some in the business world by surprise. “It’s scary,” said Randy Johnson, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president for labor, immigration, and employee benefits. “It’s just a small example of two words under our healthcare law of 2,700-pages,” he said, adding: “It says to me things are awfully complicated.”
Johnson noted the new Obamacare ruling to demonstrate how oppressive federal regulations have become on American business. At a press conference to discuss the costs of regulations and state of the economy, Johnson said that Obama has added 11,327 new pages of federal rules and regulations.
Dear readers, you haven’t heard much about what’s in those thousands of pages of new regulations, much less felt their impact. Trust me—if the Democrats win in November, you’ll start feeling it almost immediately.
That last example was from HHS. Senator Inhofe has more details about what EPA has in store for all of us:
Here are just a few of many examples cited by Inhofe of costly new Obama-inspired regulations that EPA will impose on the economy after Nov. 6:
• Greenhouse gas regulations, including the infamous “cow tax.” The EPA will finalize proposed regulations that will virtually eliminate coal use in electricity generation, thus driving consumer electric bills sky-high. This cluster of new regulations will also impose an annual fee on farmers for every ton of greenhouse gases emitted by their animals. The EPA estimates that 37,000 farms and ranches will have to pay on average a $23,000 annual “cow tax.”
• New regulations will so severely reduce permissible ozone emissions that the EPA estimates the cost to the economy will be $90 billion per year. Other studies put the cost as high as $1 trillion. Split the difference between the estimates, and the result still means the loss of millions of jobs.
• New Tier III regulations will cut permissible sulfur emissions by two-thirds. That will add as much as 9 cents to the cost of a gallon of gas, according to Inhofe.
• The EPA’s new coal ash regulation will cost as much as $110 billion over two decades and destroy more than 300,000 jobs, mostly in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Missouri.
Keep in mind—many Democrats have a liberal mindset. A mindset that not only favors regulation and centralized control; it views business as something to be tightly controlled, if not punished. (They also have a mindset to build up government bureaucracies; this allows them to offer lots of patronage jobs that provide good pay).
Let’s be clear here—-things do need change. Our healthcare system needs reform, and we certainly need to avoid another financial collapse like we had in 2008. However, The Regulators we have in Washington now seem way too intent on exercising centralized control over…well, everything! To make matters worse, they seem way too eager to use their positions of public service to beat up on business. THAT will strangle our economy.
Remember all those dreams Tucson has, of being a world center for solar electricity generation. Well, in California, environmentalists are fighting the development of solar farms in one of the world’s most desolate places—the Mojave Desert. Viable solar farms cover lots of ground, and the solar panel arrays can disturb the habitat of desert animals. Yes, you read that right—we are having trouble building solar power farms IN THE VAST, INHOSPITABLE STRETCHES OF THE MOJAVE DESERT!
Tucson is the home base of the Center for Biological Diversity, America’s leading environmental litigation zealots.
Now, imagine you want to build a solar power farm. Would you come to Tucson? Especially if the Center had kindred spirits in the EPA on speed-dial and its Facebook friends list? (Think it through).
Businesses fear regulation…but they fear uncertainty more. The more regulations the government issues, the harder it is for people to do business. You won’t know what you’re permitted to do without government permission. People who are uncertain don’t act. They don’t invest, they don’t hire, they don’t expand their businesses. Does that sound like the basis of a healthy, reviving economy to you?
When regulations govern everything, you create a feeling in the community, in society that you shouldn’t risk doing something on your own. You create an expectation that, before you do ANYTHING meaningful, you need a regulator’s blessing.
Do you want to live in a country where the regulator influences everything you want to do? If you vote Democratic on November 6th, the “Land of the Free” could quickly become the “Land of the Regulated and Constrained.”