Some business leaders claim the reason the U.S. economy has been floundering is because of the number of new regulations imposed by the Obama administration. Bloomberg News has conducted an analysis of new regulations enacted by the last several presidents. The results may surprise some people.
The Obama White House has approved fewer regulations than his predecessor, George W. Bush, at this same point in their tenures.
The average annual cost to businesses under Obama is higher than most, but not all, of his predecessors. Rules enacted since 2009 haven’t reached the annual peak set in fiscal 1992 under Bush’s father.
The current administration has approved 613 federal rules, 4.7% fewer than the 643 during the same period of the previous administration.
The number of significant federal rules (those costing more than $100 million) has gone up under Obama, to 129 compared to 90 for Bush, 115 for President Clinton, and 127 for the first President Bush during the same time in their tenures. One reason for the current increase: $100 million in past years was worth more than it is now due to inflation.
Still, the Bloomberg analysis hasn’t satisfied Republicans. They contend that the issue is how businesses perceive the regulatory environment. By one count, there are as many as 219 economically significant rules still to come.
Upcoming OSHA rules include:
- updating the Hazard Communication Standard to conform to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Chemical Classification and Labeling
- Electric Power Transmission and Distribution and Electrical Protective Equipment
- Confined Spaces in Construction
- Injury and Illness Prevention Programs
- Occupational Exposure to Beryllium
- Combustible Dust, and
- Occupational Exposure to Food Flavorings Containing Diacetyl and its substitutes.