So most of the media attention right now is focused on the dramatic energy department conclusion that COVID probably started as a man-made lab leak in Wuhan, China. Plus, there’s a fair amount of attention on the alarming rise in Federal spending deficits and debt. But I’ve got a hat tip for the WSJ editorial page for bringing in Biden’s regulatory deluge.
This is really a gigantic story that is under-reported, and it is a story that has a lot to do with the poor performance of the Biden economy, which in his first full year in office, 2022, grew by a miniscule 0.9% with 6.5% inflation. And the CBO is looking for less than 2% in future growth as far as the eye can see. But we need 4% growth for true prosperity.
Well regulatory obstacles are playing a big role in these dismal numbers. In 2 years, the Bidens have slapped on 517 regulatory actions with roughly $318 billion in total economic costs. That’s a lot folks. That’s an awful lot. The American Action Forum suggests another 311 regs in the pipeline for another nearly $200 billion in additional cost.
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As the accompanying chart shows, regulations barely budged in the Trump administration, but Biden has outdone himself, because he’s not just reversing Trump, which is what he always does for the sake of reversing Trump, he’s even whooping Barack Obama — his former boss. And we all thought that wouldn’t be easy!
Of course there’s the war against fossil fuels. There’s the SEC. There’s the FCC. There’s the EPA. There’s the federal student loan cancelations, that’s the Education Department. There’s all manner of FDA, HHS. In general, it’s the Biden war against business.
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Maybe, the Supreme Court’s West Virginia vs EPA decision can slow this war down. Because this regulatory binge is not about legislation, it’s mostly about big government. It’s about central-planning. It’s what Steve Forbes calls “modern socialism through the regulatory state.” Regulations have high costs, and lots of paper work, and lawsuits, and reduced profits, which then cuts jobs, and lowers wages for typical families.
Now if Joe Biden had his way he would’ve reversed all the Trump tax cuts also, and he’s already had kind of a head start on some of that. But Biden’s regulatory assault has thrown so much sand in the gears of business that he might even get by without jacking up taxes at all.
Every time Mr. Biden talks about onshoring, especially for semi-conductors and manufacturing, I think about this: How about slashing taxes and slashing regulations. Make America the most hospitable investment home for business in all the world. And then we’ll onshore everything. Just think of it.