DESPITE IRAQ WAR, BUSH GOES ABOUT REGULATORY REFORM
August 24, 2004
The Bush Administration has been busy streamlining and overhauling cumbersome regulations, reducing the burden on businesses. For example:
- President Bush rolled back Clinton's "roadless rule" that would have prevented the logging or road-building on some 60 million acres of federal forest.
- The Department of Labor abandoned a plan to require employers to keep a record of employees' ergonomic injuries; businesses argued it would have done little in preventing those injuries.
- The Bush Administration rolled back a proposed rule that would have required hospitals to take extra measures to protect workers against tuberculosis; hospitals said the law would be costly and would overlap with existing regulations.
In fact, the Bush Administration has lowered the costs of regulation on industries more than any other administration since 1987:
- The average cost of new regulations on business was $6.2 billion annually during the Clinton administration (peaking at over $12 billion annually in 2000), and $8.5 billion annually during the previous Bush administration.
- The average cost of new regulations on business during the current Bush administration is only $1.6 billion annually.
Moreover, administrations are permitted to write their own regulations on their own for the most part, while Congress must pass laws, which are often gridlocked by partisanship.
Source: Joe L. Brinkley, "Out of Spotlight, Bush Overhauls U.S. Regulations," New York Times, August 14, 2004.
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