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Obama and the New Regulation -- Same Old Sh-t, Just a Different Day

By Gary Starr for The Neville Awards
Jan. 24, 2011

Our Fraudinator-in-Chief threw down the gauntlet in the Wall Street Journal and declared he's going to get tough with the regulators…, no, he's really going to do it this time. Because after two years of stimulus and Obamacare, and running around bowing to every tin-pot dictator he's finally focusing on the economy.

Read excerpts from the Obama's proclamation:

For two centuries, America's free market has not only been the source of dazzling ideas and path-breaking products, it has also been the greatest force for prosperity the world has ever known. That vibrant entrepreneurialism is the key to our continued global leadership and the success of our people.

But throughout our history, one of the reasons the free market has worked is that we have sought the proper balance. We have preserved freedom of commerce while applying those rules and regulations necessary to protect the public against threats to our health and safety and to safeguard people and businesses from abuse.

Sometimes, those rules have gotten out of balance, placing unreasonable burdens on business-burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs. At other times, we have failed to meet our basic responsibility to protect the public interest, leading to disastrous consequences. Such was the case in the run-up to the financial crisis from which we are still recovering. There, a lack of proper oversight and transparency nearly led to the collapse of the financial markets and a full-scale Depression.

Where necessary, we won't shy away from addressing obvious gaps: new safety rules for infant formula; procedures to stop preventable infections in hospitals; efforts to target chronic violators of workplace safety laws. But we are also making it our mission to root out regulations that conflict, that are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb.

For instance, the FDA has long considered saccharin, the artificial sweetener, safe for people to consume. Yet for years, the EPA made companies treat saccharin like other dangerous chemicals. Well, if it goes in your coffee, it is not hazardous waste. The EPA wisely eliminated this rule last month.

We're also getting rid of absurd and unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money. We're looking at the system as a whole to make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation. And finally, today I am directing federal agencies to do more to account for-and reduce-the burdens regulations may place on small businesses. Small firms drive growth and create most new jobs in this country. We need to make sure nothing stands in their way.

So did Barry have his "come to Jesus" (or Allah depending on who you believe) moment? Liberals have spent years dismissing warnings that their agenda created uncertainty and harmed the economy, and then they wake up to find the Dear Leader disowning "unreasonable burdens on business-burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs."

Well, if you think our Fraudinator-in-Chief has found Adam Smith's Hidden Hand on capitalism and the evils of over-regulation in the wake of the 2101 mid-terms, think again.

As triangulators like Bill Clinton or Tony Blair would say, the goal of the move to the center is always a two-step. First, lull the public into forgetting past transgressions, and to present them instead with a politician in tune with the pulse of the nation. Second is to co-opt the other side's message.

In other words it's the same old Obama of 2008, pretending to be a moderate. Fool me once, shame on you… know the rest. He's lying again. The 2012 campaign has begun.

Our ever-eager regulatory agencies include, but are not limited to, the Federal Communications Commission (net neutrality, rejected by Congress), the Food and Drug Administration (food safety, medical devices), the Labor Department (the SEIU's wish list) and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA's goal is to impose carbon emissions limits that Democrats in Congress tried and failed to get through Cap & Trade legislation. If the new Congress doesn't intervene the new rules will become the costliest re-regulation in government history. EPA is also re-regulating conventional air pollutants, often bypassing the usual notice and public comment.

No sooner was the ink dry on little Barack's directive than the Environmental Protection Agency said it was "confident" it wouldn't need to alter a single current or pending rule. "In fact, EPA's rules consistently yield billions in cost savings that make them among the most cost-effective in the government."

Perhaps the EPA's confidence owes to a little-noticed proviso in little Barack's directive. When the agencies weigh costs and benefits, the order says, they should always consider "values that are difficult or impossible to quantify, including equity, human dignity, fairness, and distributive impacts."

One of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's top priorities is "explicitly integrating environmental justice considerations into the fabric of the EPA's process," as a July 2010 memo to all senior regulators put it. "Environmental justice" is the left-wing grievance movement that claims pollution has a disproportionate effect on minorities and the poor. Ms. Jackson's memo introduced new regulatory guidance-that is, rules about how to make rules-so every EPA action has "a particular focus on disadvantaged or vulnerable groups."

The EPA agenda is one of the cornerstones of the Leftist wealth redistribution social justice movement writ large.

From the Wall St. Journal, November 22, 2010

The scale of the EPA's current assault is unprecedented, yet it has received almost no public scrutiny. Since Mr. Obama took office, the agency has proposed or finalized 29 major regulations and 172 major policy rules. This surge already outpaces the Clinton Administration's entire first term-when the EPA had just been handed broad new powers under the 1990 revamp of air pollution laws.

Another measure of the EPA's aggressiveness are the six major traditional pollutants that the agency polices, such as ozone or sulfur dioxide. No Administration has ever updated more than two of these rules in a single term, and each individual rule has tended to run through a 15-year cycle on average since the Clean Air Act passed in 1970. Under administrator Lisa Jackson, the EPA is stiffening the regulations for all six at the same time.

The hyperactive Ms. Jackson is also stretching legal limits to satisfy the White House's climate-change goals, now that Senate Democrats have killed cap and trade. The EPA's "endangerment finding" on carbon is most controversial, but other parts of her regulatory ambush may be more destructive by forcing mass retirements of the coal plants that provide half of America's electricity.

And from Dick Morris, November 22, 2010

Worse, because the Clean Air Act is designed to protect public health by measuring aggregate pollution in each geographic area, it limits economic development in communities where the pollution levels exceed prescribed standards. But carbon dioxide doesn't poison anyone. It makes no sense to ban factory expansion in areas where the nature of the industries is that there will be high carbon dioxide levels (like oil area of Texas and Louisiana). But that's what the EPA plans to do, virtually making economic growth illegal in large parts of the United States.

The other cornerstone of the Leftist wealth redistribution social justice movement is ObamaCare.

Lenin said that "Medicine is the keystone of the arch of socialism". We are now saddled with this terrible system and if Congress cannot figure out a way to defund or scrap this monstrosity the country will go bankrupt.

Although the death panels and single payer were officially scrapped in the bill they will make a comeback through regulation.

'Death Panels' have come back to life. They are being imposed through the back door. In December 2010 Food and Drug Administration banned doctors from prescribing Avastin, a potent but costly drug, to patients with advanced-stage breast cancer. According to the FDA, the drug doesn't offer "a sufficient benefit in slowing disease progression to outweigh the significant risk to patients." Yet in some clinical trials Avastin has halted the spread of patients' cancer for months, providing respite to women and their families wracked by physical and psychological pain. The FDA's restrictions on the drug Avastin are the beginning of a long slide toward health-care rationing.

ObamaCare also created a commission-the Independent Payment Advisory Board-tasked with limiting spending on Medicare, in reality healthcare rationing. Its recommendations will be binding, unless Congress can come up with equivalent cost-savings of its own. For the first time, an unelected group will be empowered to limit health spending for the vulnerable elderly.

The bill is also a business and jobs killer. Without Congressional action, beginning Jan. 1, 2012, all businesses will have to file "1099" forms with the IRS anytime they purchase $600 or more from a vendor, creating a significant administrative and cost burden. So, inaddition to raising the cost of healthcare to the employer, the paperwork involved in tracking purchases will suck more producitivity out of business.

So Obama will spin tales of reason and centrist warm-fuzzies in his State of the Union message, all the while imploring us to use our "indoor" voices and be civil. But I am reminded of the line in Clint Eastwood's "Bird", the Charlie Parker biopic: "Ain't no new guy, it's Charlie, from just around."
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