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Joe Biden’s Jungle of Regulations

Posted on Tuesday, July 9, 2024
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by Ben Solis
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22 Comments
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Along with the 20 percent cumulative inflation that has ravaged household budgets since 2021, President Joe Biden’s tenure has been marked by a deluge of new regulations that have cost businesses and consumers dearly.

According to a report out earlier this year from the American Action Forum (AAF), new regulations imposed by the Biden administration from Inauguration Day 2021 through April 2024 have cost taxpayers some $1.4 trillion, while adding 267 million annual paperwork hours. For reference, Trump administration regulations introduced over that same period of time during his first term cost taxpayers $30.1 billion, while Obama rules cost $303.1 billion.

According to Wayne Crews from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, these regulations are having a significant impact on the economy, hampering growth and innovation. If these regulations were conceptualized as a tax, they would surpass the federal income tax, amounting to approximately $14,600 per family.

As former Trump economic advisor Casey Mulligan testified to Congress in 2023, four years of Trump in office “reduced regulatory costs by about $11,000 per household.” But if Biden remains in the White House and the current rate of new laws and regulations continues apace, costs per household from Biden’s regulatory onslaught could reach a staggering $60,000.

The sheer number of Biden regulatory actions is also shattering previous records. In 2022, AAF finds, Congress passed a total of 247 laws. That same year, the Biden administration introduced some 3,168 new regulations – a ratio of nearly 13 to 1.

In addition, the Biden administration has issued a torrent of guidance documents, proclamations, memoranda, bulletins, circulars, and letters outlining how agencies should perform their congressionally-mandated duties. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) terms these documents “regulatory dark matter,” as they “are subject to little scrutiny or democratic accountability but carry practical, binding regulatory effects.”

In an interview, retired Economics Professor August Fritz de Riehl, who advised the president of the Austrian Central Bank in the 1980s, described Biden’s regulatory agenda as a “bureaucratic jungle which stifles entrepreneurship and productivity.” Dr. Riehl, who observed first-hand the de-regulatory success of the Reagan and Trump administrations, told me that Biden’s approach was the exact opposite. While Reagan and Trump based their regulatory agenda on a few common-sense principles that everyone understood, he said, Biden is attempting to micromanage every industry from Washington D.C.

Dr. Riehl added that four more years with Biden in office would likely result in a “drastic collapse in competitiveness and product quality,” warning that, as is the case in Europe, overregulation would paralyze businesses. “It is an abyss,” he said. “One regulation can be accompanied by hundreds or thousands of pages of interpretations, and you have to comply with it all.”

Gianluigi Fisce, another retired economics professor, also warned me that Biden’s regulatory excess is putting on the United States “on the same path as Europe, which is heading toward economic stagnation and contraction.” In the 1990s, he explained, despite warnings from him and other experts, Brussels “chose judges and regulators over innovators and capital – a terrible mistake.”

“Regulators regard businesses as their slaves or even enemies,” Dr. Fisce said. This influence “limits consumer choices by effectively dictating what companies can produce.” A stark example of this which he pointed to is Obamacare, which notably expanded government control over health insurers, influencing clients in the direction the administration desired.

Small businesses under Biden have in particular found themselves buried by an endless sea of regulatory paperwork and compliance requirements to bring any new product to market. Even one small mistake is enough to initiate a recall from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. As compliance costs have increased, many small companies have been forced out of business entirely.

Dr. Cnute Haukebo, an economist who advised Latin American governments in the 1990s, told me that another problem with Biden’s regulatory regime is “the moods and interpretive imaginations of bureaucracy.” As he explained, rules and regulations are often sufficiently broad to allow activist-minded bureaucrats to apply rules in a manner that favors a certain political agenda.

For instance, Dr. Haukebo said, regulations labeled as “green” have provided a “green light for extensive bureaucratic intervention in businesses worldwide.” Under the guise of fighting “climate change,” the Biden administration has inserted itself into virtually every industry, from the energy sector to auto manufacturing. The result has been slowing growth and higher prices for consumers.

Throughout his campaign for president in 2020 and tenure in office, Joe Biden has been careful to rhetorically distance himself from the “socialist” label, repeatedly claiming that he is a “capitalist.” But his regulatory agenda has told a different story, granting the federal government broad leeway to put its thumb on the scales of the free market.

The costs of this approach to the American economy and American consumers are clear. With Election Day rapidly approaching, voters will finally have the chance to escape Biden’s regulatory jungle.

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher.

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PaulE
PaulE
4 days ago

Democrats have always been great proponents of excessive and punitive regulations to either kill off businesses and industries they dislike or as a means to extract large fines and excessive taxes in order to fund their “transformational” agenda of global neo-Marxism. What Team Biden has been doing for the last 4 years isn’t really anything all that different from what other Democrat administrations have done in the past, when they have had control in Washington. There is of course a great deal of difference between a necessary, light-touch of some regulation to ensure general public safety and a stable and level playing field versus the heavy-handed, authoritarian approach of regulation as a weapon of government to reshape the economic landscape to match the distorted view of the world that the Democrat Party has endorsed for many decades.

One would think that the general public would have learned that lesson from history after several decades, but since our public education system has steadily declined over the decades (look at our nation’s test scores compared to the rest of the world), the general public today is largely ignorant of anything that has happened before their immediate lifetimes. The Democrats of course count on that ignorance, which is why the public schools no longer teach history and several other topics properly anymore, as a means to keep getting elected to power and furthering their long-term agenda. All great authoritarian regimes throughout history have relied on the ignorance and gullibility of the people to both attain power and then retain it.

Gloria Timblin
Gloria Timblin
4 days ago

Ho can we sue the government for the harm their regulations have caused us. My “environmentally friendly “ washing machine doesn’t even get the clothes wet so I have to put them through another wash. How is that saving water

anna hubert
anna hubert
4 days ago

Obama never tried to hide his goal This is continuation of it

Michael Stevens
Michael Stevens
4 days ago

While I’m a republican and will likely vote that way come November, the infighting in the GOP is not a pretty sight. The possibilities are fantastic this election cycle, but I doubt the party has any idea what to do during the first 100 days. If I were KING for a day, they would have bills ready to pass that reverses most of what the Biden administration has done, they would fire most of the administrators at all federal agencies, reduce the spending by instituting a 10% cut (not a reduction in growth) for all but the DOD, eliminate spending for Planned Parenthood, NPR, NEA, all grants, all school districts that have a D or F score, etc. Not holding my breath……

Jerry
Jerry
4 days ago

The Lame Brain in Chief must go. Trump 2024 all the way.

uncleferd
uncleferd
4 days ago

Mr. Solis’ article raises some good points about the increase of regulatory burden under Biden and the “democrat” mob. As we’ve all seen for many years, these Biden artifacts prove the malfeasance.

Ralph
Ralph
4 days ago

The Demoncraps want only one thing… complete control over everyone MIND & BODY!

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
4 days ago

If its one created by Joe you can bet its a “racial jungle”.

David Millikan
David Millikan
3 days ago

Dictator Beijing biden doesn’t Deport his Illegal Alien Terrorist coming in by the Millions but deports a Porn Star from Australia that hasn’t done anything as soon as she arrived at LAX. Sound familiar?

Jerry_M_Tx
Jerry_M_Tx
3 days ago

It is a hallmark of the oppressive administrative state and despite the overturning of the Chevron deference doctrine, it will be along road to reverse, even if Trump wins in November, despite Democrat to steal that election.

Ty
Ty
3 days ago

THIS WAS ISSUED BY THE STATE OF ARIZONA:”If you do not submit proof of citizenship and we cannot acquire your proof of citizenship from the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division or the statewide voter registrationdatabase, you will receive a “federal-only” ballot, which has only federal races and nostate,county, or local races or initiatives/referendums.”This is the first step toward establishing illegal voting, OPEN VOTER FRAUD, in federal elections, then it will be state, county, city elections, if this is allowed to stand.Only Americans citizens should ever be allowed to vote in any American election. This corruption of our laws would allow even ‘Putin’ to vote in American elections. Send a message to every contact you have and to your city, county, state, and federal representatives. Stop any person who is not an American citizen from voting in ANY American election.NOTE: This may be an attempt to identify illegals, but just the assumption that a non citizen could be allowed to vote is a corruption of American rights and our form of government. America is a Republic, not a mob run lawless third world democracy. I can provide an image of the AZ document, but I can not attach it here.

uncleferd
uncleferd
3 days ago

I understand that he has a new initiative that is intended to change the name of our United States of America to “Joe Biden”…. which, he says, “was the original intent of our Founding Fathers, but they all lied….”

Bacon Nivison
Bacon Nivison
4 days ago

Biden is a horrendous creature! The demonicrats have been battling again personal freedom ever since their foundation. Now they’ve joined with the globalist supremists who are working to take over the American economy. Thus the absurdities going on today. Weaponization of the Justice department, 34 felonies where there were no complainants, no damages and no crimes committed. Steve Bannon in Prison. Over a BILLION dollars in fee to Alex Jones for doing what our media does every day (misinformation, for which he apologized). If the demonic rats win this election, it’s over.

Veteran John Victorine
Veteran John Victorine
4 days ago

It is : “BUY” the Votes !!!
“BUY” the Votes !!!
“BUY” the Votes !!!
And Blank The {{Taxpayers}}}=
100% Of (Us)), Yes all of use !

Melinda
Melinda
4 days ago

There are so many regulations, especially environmental, that they can’t even get their own projects done. Maybe that’s a good thing.

Secret Service agents rush Donald Trump off the stage.(AP: Evan Vucci)
President Joe Biden greets President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at the Filoli Estate in Woodside, California.(Official White House Photo by Carlos Fyfe)
President Joe Biden speaks on the phone with Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to discuss his approval of a FEMA disaster declaration in response to the impacts of Hurricane Beryl, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

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