There is a strange phenomena occurring in our country. Many people are unhappy with the direction of the country and are experiencing a type of malaise. Things do not seem to be right. However, they can’t quite put their finger on what is causing the discomfort.
It does not seem to occur to many Americans that who they vote for and put in office could be part of the problem. Republicans get blamed for all sorts of things including stopping so many progressive ideas and plans. However, an attempt to put a brake on laws and regulations is not enough to stop the onslaught of rules.
Apparently many people do not understand that when you keep voting a certain way and things get worse you might have to reconsider how you are voting.
People complain that the government isn’t taking care of things but fail to understand that more government regulations mean more taxes. Every rule and regulation requires someone to monitor and enforce those rules. Those people all get paid and there are licenses and fees for most regulations.
In 2014, 27 new major rules pushed the Obama Administration’s rules for his first six years in office to 184. More are in the pipeline. Regulators estimate that these 184 regulations will cost nearly $80 Billion annually. However, the cost of many of these rules has not been fully quantified.
All parts of the federal government (White House, Congress and federal agencies) ignore costs of regulations, exaggerate benefits, breach legislative and constitutional boundaries and increasingly dictate lifestyle choices.
President Obama is willing to live by regulation as evidenced by his executive orders. However, Congress is also responsible for much of the excessive regulation. Congress often passes bills of over 2000 pages with no knowledge of all that the bills include.
A prime example is the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and the Dodd-Frank financial regulations law (the original act was 850 pages of legislation and has spawned 19,000 pages of regulations.) More regulations are expected. So far, Dodd-Frank, which was meant to reduce the risk of major bank failures, has basically crippled community banks which had very little part in the financial crisis.
The underlying philosophy behind all of these regulations is the belief that the federal and of course state governments can solve every problem with another law or regulation. Instead what is actually happening is that costs continue to rise and more money must be extracted from citizens in order to pay for all these “wonderful” regulations.
The 2016 Index of Economic Freedom, released by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, reports that for the 8th time in the past 10 years America has lost ground. Countries are graded on 10 factors of economic freedom, including size of government, regulations, corruption, taxes and the openness of markets. America, out of a possible score of 100, scored 75.4 and ranks 11th out of 178 rated economies.
The United States score declined because during the past eight years the U.S. has had dramatically increased government spending and regulations, a failed stimulus program that enriched the well-connected but left average Americans behind and laws such as the Affordable Care Act which denied the right of individuals to keep the health plans they already had and as the president had promised.
It is time for voters to study the beliefs and records of candidates for every office. Just having a D or an R after a candidate’s name is not enough. Does the candidate believe that Congress and state legislatures should be trying to fix everything with endless regulations? This all goes back to understanding that a government that can give you so much in benefits and care is also a government that can take it all away. Freedom is assaulted when the government can direct every aspect of our lives.
Information gathered from Red Tape Rising: Six Years of Escalating Regulation Under Obama.
James L. Gattuso and Diane Katz
U.S. Economic Freedom Continues to Fade: Terry Miller. Wall Street Journal, 2/1/16.