Heritage study: Almost $70 billion in new regulatory costs from Obama’s first term

posted at 8:01 pm on May 2, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

As I mentioned last night, the frighteningly complicated tale of Uber cab’s troubles in New York City is, sadly, just one type of example of the many regulatory and specially-interested impediments that are wreaking havoc on our struggling economy because of the tendencies of big-government overreach at all levels — local, state, and federal. Especially federal.

ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, and a bunch of incoming environmental regulations are only the most visible illustrations of the type of complex, top-down hindrances that the federal government is imposing on businesses across the country, and the Heritage Foundation has come up with an estimate of just how much President Obama’s progressive fondness for government intervention and central planning is costing us from the results of his first term alone:

The most comprehensive source of data on new regulations is the Federal Rules Database maintained by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). According to the GAO data, federal regulators issued 2,605 new rules during Obama’s fourth year in office. Of these, 69 were classified as “major,” generally defined as having an expected economic impact of at least $100 million per year. Forty-two of these major rules were administrative or budgetary in nature, such as Medicare payment rates or hunting limits on migratory birds; twenty-five were “prescriptive” regulations that imposed burdens on private-sector activity. Only two major rules decreased regulation. During the President’s first term there were 131 prescriptive rules. This compares to 52 such rules imposed during George W. Bush’s first term.

Based on agencies’ own analyses, more than $23.5 billion in new annual costs were added last year, which brought Obama’s first-term total to $69.8 billion. In addition, there were $4.6 billion in one-time implementation costs in 2012, raising the first-term total for one-time implementation costs to nearly $12 billion.


While ObamaCare definitely gets more notice, I’ve often pondered on whether ObamaCare of Dodd-Frank is going to have a more sinister net impact on our economy. Dodd-Frank has all kinds of rules and regs that are going to put a mega-damper on financial activity and end up costing consumers bigtime (Use a bank? Have a retirement acount? “Consumers” means you), both directly and in terms of opportunity costs — and meanwhile, the Obama administration gets to claim that they’ve fixed “the policies that got us into the financial crisis in the first place” while they go ahead and double down on the actual policies that got us here in the first place. Geniuses.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


The President of the United States requires twelve very expensive pens to sign his name.

Axe on May 2, 2013 at 8:04 PM

And a reach around from Reggie Love.

Polish Rifle on May 2, 2013 at 8:07 PM

I’m sorry if this is a little off topic.. okay… maybe a lot… but I just noticed the size of that watch Obama is wearing in the signing photo.

Is he suffering from presbyopia? Does he need contacts or glasses but, for some reason known only to him, refuses to wear them so he wears a gigantic watch just so he can read the time accurately?

OR.. is it a super secret, president use only, computer/communicator, one of a kind wrist version of an iphone? Maybe instead of the ‘nuclear football’ he now has it digitized in a watch. Might be a great way to keep him from losing it.

As to that regulation bonanza upon which he’s embarked… we all knew it was going to be costly… and painful. We have to wonder just how bad it’s going to get this term… and how much of it will remain a constant hangover after he’s left office.

thatsafactjack on May 2, 2013 at 8:09 PM

brainfreeordie: wage gap; ebil corporations; to each according to his need, etc.; something, something; outrageous claims without proof about regulation not costing businesses anything; ebil corporations

NotCoach on May 2, 2013 at 8:09 PM

He’s doing exactly what he meant to do and he has only 1357 days to complete his total subordination of both our economy and our society. And he as the total cooperation of Manure Spreading Media. If the lousy 3% differential in the voters can’t figure this out by 3rd Quarter of 2014, we as a nation are doomed.
The social science folks will be studying and writing about this catastrophic ‘community organizer’ for decades to come. Many will simply ask: “How could this have happened?”

Missilengr on May 2, 2013 at 8:22 PM

It was Reagan who said Government is the problem:
To paraphrase: If it exists, tax it. If it moves, regulate it. If it cannot survive, subsidize it.

Only a government program can violate the Laws of Thermodynamics, that is to make a ‘perpetual motion machine’ a reality.

Missilengr on May 2, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Conservatives and their representatives in government have only one goal; stand to stop every law, proposed law, or directive from the Obama administration.

Tater Salad on May 2, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Figure that the numerous US Government Regulation increases that my industry has seen since January of 2009 has cost each average small business owner in our field something like 25% more than under the previous Administration.

That’s not good.

Del Dolemonte on May 2, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Jackie, that’s really not a large watch but that surely is a skinny feminine wrist it’s on.

D-fusit on May 2, 2013 at 8:42 PM

D-fusit on May 2, 2013 at 8:42 PM

LOL! Perspective is everything. :)

thatsafactjack on May 2, 2013 at 8:44 PM

thatsafactjack on May 2, 2013 at 8:09 PM

The watch..my guess?

Its the style right now…huge watches.
What I have noticed. Even women’s watches.
Case diameter and band width.

just 2 cents J. I am a watch-aholic..I like a bigger one..
but they are huge now.
You know..Barry is so fashionable.

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 8:45 PM

[email protected]

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Hands of a woman. Yikes.

SouthernGent on May 2, 2013 at 9:39 PM

The President of the United States requires twelve very expensive pens to sign his name.

Axe on May 2, 2013 at 8:04 PM
I noticed that too. He’s not the first to use a dozen pens every time he signs some official and important document. Each of those pens gets given to someone, so every time a new signing occurs, that’s twelve more pens to be bought…

What a waste. Tradition? Phooey. If I were President, it might be a small thing, but that’s one tradition I’d do away with.

Logus on May 2, 2013 at 10:50 PM

Heritage study: Almost $70 billion in new regulatory costs from Obama’s first term

Most of that is now sitting in offshore bank accounts, Saudi Arabia and a few other places. There is intended Cloward-Piven waste sprinkled with good old fashioned D.C. incompetence going on, but ultimately it’s a cover for money laundering and theft.

It all doesn’t make sense until you view such things as criminal operations. Who would really think that these guys are going to let billions of dollars simply evaporate? Hell, they lose sleep over the idea that kids can operate lemonade stands without paying tribute.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 2, 2013 at 11:56 PM

regulation compliance is just as much a cost as taxes. When those costs are not part of the calculation, you get falsely low numbers.All taxes, and regulation compliance, and minimum wage, and all insurances, and and and …..
All government actions that increase costs add to the probability that part or even all of the jobs in that business are moving somewhere else. If the inflicted costs are local, then maybe just out of state. When national, then certainly out of the country.

jhnone on May 3, 2013 at 12:12 AM

I think we have gone over the cliff and are heading for the rocks,
Make sure your helmet is on and your seatbelt is fastened.

losarkos on May 3, 2013 at 1:15 AM