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Over-Regulated America
Posted by Randy | February 28, 2012

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then last week's cover of The Economist speaks volumes when it comes to regulations in America.

After running through a list of ridiculous regulations, the article notes that "red tape in America is no laughing matter. The problem is not the rules that are self-evidently absurd. It is the ones that sound reasonable on their own but impose a huge burden collectively. America is meant to be the home of laissez-faire. Unlike Europeans, whose lives have long been circumscribed by meddling governments and diktats from Brussels, Americans are supposed to be free to choose, for better or for worse. Yet for some time America has been straying from this ideal."

Do you agree? Weigh in with your thoughts below. You can read the full article here or click the photo above.

Also, read about my work to rein in regulations here.

What do you think? Weigh in:
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  • Mark Cernak commented on 3/7/2012
    Americans are besieged by regulations. At every level, government intrudes into citizens’ lives with a torrent of do’s and don’ts that place an unsustainable burden on the economy and erode Americans’ most fundamental freedoms. In fiscal year (FY) 2010 alone, the Obama Administration unleashed regulations that will cost more than $26.5 billion annually, and many more are on the way. These rules cover a broad swath of American life: Fifteen of the 43 major rules issued during the fiscal year arose from the regulatory crack¬down on the finance sector in the Wall Street Reform and Protection Act (Dodd–Frank) and similar lawmaking. Another five stemmed from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) adopted by Congress in early 2010. Ten others came from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including the first mandatory reporting of “greenhouse gas” emissions and $10.8 billion in new automotive fuel economy standards. In total, regulations now extract some $1.75 trillion a year from the economy, according to a recent report from the federal government’s own Small Business Administration. Little different from taxes, regulations raise the price of almost every product and service, while also inhibiting the capital investment and job creation needed to keep the nation’s economy strong. This regulatory tide must be reversed. Policymakers should not just prevent harmful new regulations, but must repeal costly and unnecessary rules already on the books. Such action can be undertaken by the new Congress, or by regulators themselves. In fact, President Obama recently pledged a government-wide review of rules to determine which should be “modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed.” Below would would be a good state 20 such rules that should be eliminated: 1. The Individual Health Insurance Mandate 2. The Employer Health Insurance Mandate 3. Insurer Coverage Mandates 4. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Regulations 5. Debit Card Interchange Fees (“Durbin Amendment”) 6. Proxy Access Rules 7. Credit Card Regulation 8. Phase-Out of Incandescent Light Bulbs 9. Appliance Energy Standards 10. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards 11. The EPA Endangerment Finding 12. The “Tailpipe Rule” 13. The Renewable Fuel Standard 14. The Community Reinvestment Mandates 15. Section 404 Financial Reporting Requirements (Sarbanes–Oxley) 16. Network Neutrality 17. FCC Media Ownership Rules 18. FCC Merger Review Authority 19. Dairy Price Controls 20. Sugar Protectionism
  • Dave Hawes commented on 3/7/2012
    I FULLY agree! Government "Regulations" are a huge hinderence to our succes in small business and a drag on the economy. We are smothered with "red tape" and a constant increase of interference with our ability to do our jobs.
  • Larry Ragland commented on 3/7/2012
    I'm sure that there are many regulations that, for whatever reason, seem dumb and unnecessary in retrospect. Most were probably seen as important and necessary at the time they were put in place. I've not read the Economist article, but this sort of thing occurs in every organization, and the federal government is the biggest organization out there. That said, EVERYONE calls out for more regulations and tighter enforcement when things go wrong--BP Gulf Oil disaster, Massey Energy coal mine explosions, tainted toys, fruits and vegetables coming in from China or other places, cars with a roll-over problem, pilots working too many hours or with too little training, etc., etc. Without government regulations and controls, we'd still have rivers burning in Cleveland, many more smog-filled days, cars getting 15 mpg, and we'd have killed all the eagles with DDT back in the 70's. Without government regulations and enforcement, we'd still be living with segregation. With BETTER regulations, we might well have avoided the financial meltdown that created the great recession we're just now coming out of. So we should all 'proceed with caution' when the cry to end all of the 'burdensome' regulations goes out across the land. ALL of us benefit greatly from many of the checks and balances put in place by the federal government. It's easy to lambast 'government regulations'--not quite so easy to stop and think about what the country would look like without any.
  • James Simmons commented on 3/7/2012
    All Politicians need to stand by their oath of office and defend the Constitution. If they would just back off, and get out of the way, America would once again thrive.
  • Charles Gustafson commented on 3/7/2012
    Republican like yourself are all about regulation, as long a it is a woman's body and health care.
  • Eric Lorentzen commented on 3/8/2012
    My fellow Republicans always rail against the regulations and red-tape by the "evil" left, but is it always the left at fault? The newly approved regulation of requiring an ultrasound before an abortion is a darling of the Republicans, but it is just another intrusive regulation of the gov't in people's life for no good other than to hopefully make a women change her mind about an abortion--it has nothing to do with the health of the baby or the health of the mother.
  • Alvin Owens commented on 3/8/2012
    What’s up with filing form 1099 for each unincorporated vendor who we paid over $600 from my corporation? The vendor was my accountant, Dixon Hughes Goodman. They are an LLC. Is this the IRS gone wild or are they over funded and can afford to keep making ridiculous rules that take time and money for compliance. Congress is the root of the problem. If we don’t get control of the Congress, our country will continue it’s decline.
  • PAUL SCOTT commented on 3/8/2012
  • Stephen Dexter commented on 3/8/2012
    If Mr. Forbes is against regulations then it is not suprising that - for "proof" - he will cite an article that agrees with him. Unfortunately he has chosen a publication from his side of the argument. The Economist is, by its own admission, a free trade advocate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Economist This anti-regulation argument seems to be the outcome of the failure of the legislative battle by the Right to turn around the direction of the Obama administration. The House passes an obnoxious bill they know the Democrats will never buy; the Senate leadership buries it in "the pile". The administration submits bills in Congress which the Republican majority in the House buries or stifles. So the administration turns to a power which it already has from Congress - the power to regulate. In turn the Republican leadership and its minion in the 4th District of VA become "anti-regulation" advocates. In effect they are only against those regulations which hurt corporate profits but ignore the benefits those regulations may have for the everyday consuming public. And the story goes on.
  • Gerda Swearengen commented on 3/9/2012
    Way too many regulations have been created. What we citizens should demand is to throw out all of the laws, regulations, directives, etc. and start new with simplified but solid laws. We need to take some of the power away from the Executive Branch and give it back to the People and those who truly represent us THE PEOPLE. What we have now is harassment and the "playing out" of the childhood issues by our leaders in government. We forget that government, for the most part, is nothing more than people on a power-trip being to materialistic, and many have become very rich doing this. For a new law or regulation to take effect we do not need to create hundreds and thousands of pages which no one can read or does understand. Let us remember to keep the good people in office and get rid of the others. I once heard President Nicolas Sarcozy of France say, and I am paraphrasing "The problem with America is , the people are afraid of the Government. The problem in France is, the Government is afraid of its people." Indeed our People are afraid of our Government, and it is getting worse, from my perspective. Thank you Congressman Forbes for being a conscious, and committed to the people with common sense, Public Servant.
  • Rob Delisa commented on 7/29/2012
    Mr. Rudisill: You can't be serious. Obama has created 3-million jobs? Where are these jobs? What are these jobs? Tell this to the 8.2% who are unemployed - or more realistically, the 20% who are out of work, including the ones who gave up looking for jobs. Obama has done absolutely nothing good - he's ran this country into trillions of debt which generations, upon generations will be paying
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