POLITICS

Obama regulations: costly, late, and wrong

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

What could be worse the inflicting $46.2 billion in regulatory costs? If those regulations not only came in late but were also wrong.

According to a new study by the American Action Forum, not only has the Obama administration missed nearly half of the regulatory deadlines in Obamacare, and 59 percent of the regulatory deadlines in the Dodd-Frank bill, but many of those initial regulatory announcement turned out to be wrong.

To date, regulators implementing Dodd-Frank have been forced to issue 65 corrections to the 125 new regulations they created. The federal agencies implementing Obamacare have an even worse record, issuing 149 corrections to Obamacare’s 59 final rules.

And while some of these errors are minor typos, many of them are big course corrections. Report author Sam Batkins writes:

During [the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's] implementation of Regulation E, which would impose 6.2 million hours of new paperwork, CFPB had to issue a 20-page correction that conceded, “The Final Rule inadvertently did not reflect certain technical and conforming changes made by the interim final rule.” CFPB then issued another amendment to Regulation E, attempting to limit the rule’s burden by including a safe harbor provision. Those corrections were not sufficient, as CFPB has formally stayed the effective date of the rule that will never apparently be “perfect.”

The ACA is even more prone to error. … One correction to the controversial menu labeling rule listed 21 different amendments to the original proposal, including multiple section changes and alterations to initial capital costs. That proposal would cost restaurants more than $750 million, with 2.6 million paperwork burden hours. Regulators also expanded the proposal to include grocery stores, even though it appears that Congress never intended to sweep all food vendors under a new regulatory apparatus.

Combined, Dodd-Frank and Obamacare are expected to impose 135 million paperwork burden hours on the U.S. economy. Assuming a 2,000-hour work week, AAF estimates it would take more than 64,000 employees just to comply with Obamacare and Dodd-Frank regulations.

“There’s a great deal of debate about the public policy benefits of these two laws,” Batkins writes, “but missing deadlines and 214 errors during implementation isn’t good policy, or good government.”

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