Yesterday, a Bloomberg News analysis found that the Obama administration has passed fewer regulations than George W. Bush had at this point in his presidency -- and on top of that, they've come at far lower costs to the economy than the annual high mark for regulatory costs set by the first President Bush, or regulatory costs in President Reagan's last year for that matter.
It's funny, because a favorite theme from Republicans these days is that the President is passing an exorbitant number of regulations at crippling costs. John Boehner has said it's "misguided" for the President to be "imposing so many new rules with such enormous costs." Rep. Eric Cantor has said President Obama should "reevaluate his position on regulations."
This news kind of makes all those claims about "job-crushing government regulations" seem like what they are: political talking points with no basis in the truth.
Let's take a quick look at what this administration has actually done regulation-wise:
-- President Obama has taken huge steps to reduce regulatory burdens and costs, and to make regulations more transparent. He signed a landmark executive order requiring agencies to develop tools to cut ineffective, burdensome regulations; issued a memorandum directing agencies to provide taxpayers with easy, comprehensive access to regulatory information; and has, for the first time ever, required those agencies to actually engage with the folks who would be affected by a potential regulation before they propose it.
-- This administration has made it a priority to do away with the burdens of unnecessary regulations. So far during this administration's tenure, tens of millions of hours of regulation-related paperwork have been eliminated, saving businesses hundreds of millions in related costs. And the President initiated a plan to roll back hundreds of burdensome, unnecessary regulations - all told, this overhaul will save businesses more than $10 billion in the next five years. An example of one of the regulations getting cut? An EPA regulation defining milk as an "oil." This change is going to save the dairy industry $1.4 billion in the next decade.
-- The regulations that the President has put in place have filled gaps, closed loopholes, and protected taxpayers. Wall Street reform closed the regulatory gaps that allowed banks to grow "too big to fail" in the first place. And it puts consumer protections in place to make sure financial institutions can't continue the deceptive and abusive practices of the past -- shifting interest rates, unfair late fees, and other hidden charges.
Here's what it comes down to: This administration is in favor of smart regulations that protect middle-class families and consumers, and against burdensome ones that don't do anything but waste time and taxpayers' money.
And this campaign is committed to spreading the truth -- not baseless attacks. So help us do just that: Get the word out about how wrong Republicans are on the President's regulatory record.
Jen O'Malley Dillon
Deputy Campaign Manager
Obama for America