NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Regulatory Cliff Is Nearly as Steep as the Fiscal One

August 22, 2012

Many Americans are soon going to experience a steep hike in regulation and taxes as the president's proposed multibillion dollar regulations go into effect after the November election. The economy will be riddled with several new regulations once they take effect, says Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

  • The Dodd-Frank financial law has over 130 unfinished mandates that are set to go into effect soon.
  • The Fiduciary Rule, set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor, will restrict businesses from offering investment advice on a commission basis. A study shows that this will result in higher retirement account minimums.
  • The Department of Transportation will impose the Rear-View Camera Rule, which requires all cars and trucks to be equipped with a rear-view camera and would cost taxpayers $2.7 billion.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is most responsible for the increase in regulations and taxes.

  • The EPA is set to implement the Ozone Rule, which was passed in 2010. It would create a limit on ozone output so strict that 85 percent of U.S. counties would be in violation.
  • Predictably, this rule could impose up to $90 billion a year on manufacturers and other employers.
  • Another rule would force power plants and manufacturing facilities to draw in water to prevent overheating.
  • This could increase energy costs for consumers by $4.5 billion per year, depending on how it is implemented.
  • However, this new rule would only bring in 3 cents of benefits for every dollar spent.

New regulators will also be introduced in Obama's highly regulated economy.

  • The Independent Payment Advisory Board will be charged with cutting Medicare reimbursement rates to health care providers.
  • This board will have substantial authority over patient care and health markets but is not subjected to review requirements as other regulators are.
  • Furthermore, it can't reduce benefits or increase sources of revenue, which gives this body unlimited power to limit Medicare patients' access to care.

Source: Rob Portman, "Rob Portman: The Regulatory Cliff Is Nearly as Steep as the Fiscal One," Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2012.


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