President Obama has grown the entire regulatory state by 11 percent in just five years

posted at 10:11 pm on March 19, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

President Obama and his fellow Democrats are always berating those spitefully obstructionist Republicans for their supposed lack of focus on job creation and their persistent retarding of the slowest economic recovery, evah because of their — well, actually… it’s tough to tell what, exactly. Something about how Republicans won’t go in for making employment more expensive and inaccessible with a higher minimum wage mandate; or for hiking our out-of-control deficits with more stimulus boondoggles and unsustainable entitlement programs; or for raising taxes so the government can take more capital out of the private sector and better “invest” and redistribute it; or for their endless efforts to disable/do away with the administration’s unwise and ungainly takeover of the entire healthcare industry. I don’t even know.

But if Democrats cared to put a little more of their own focus on actually growing the economy, they might want to reconsider the gargantuan expansion of the regulatory state that’s gone down under President Obama’s direction. While we often pay most attention to the Federal Register, the Competitive Enterprise Institute points to the record of final and permanent rules in the Code of Federal Regulations as another measure of that regulatory expansion — and it ain’t pretty.

Still, the CFR “Archive-Of-All” is big. Very big. Back in 1960, the CFR contained 22,877 pages in 68 volumes.

The pace picked up. The CFR stood at 71,224 pages by year-end 1975, in 133 volumes.

Now, new data from the National Archives shows that the CFR stands at 175,496 at year-end 2013, including the 1,170-page index. (See the breakout below.)

That’s a 146 percent increase since 1975. The number of CFR volumes stands at 235 (as of 2012; the 2013 count remains unavailable for the time being), compared with 133 in 1975.

More recently, at the end of President George W. Bush’s second term (2008), there were 157,974 pages in the CFR.

That means President Obama has added 17,522 pages of regulations in his five years in office; one president growing the regulatory state 11 percent increase in five years.

And yes, the general trend through the presidents has been an ever-heavier regulatory hand — President Bush’s eight-year average was 2,490 — but this is an insane uptick. ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, the EPA, and so much more red type, and Democrats still seem confused about why their policies haven’t been able to boost business, hiring, and economic growth. Go figure.


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Yes, but Rand got a standing O at Bezerkley.

John the Libertarian on March 19, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Obama is an a hole…….

Electrongod on March 19, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Dang Erika, you and MKH are just full of good news tonight!

Brat on March 19, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Every regulation has a cost of compliance. Every regulation is a tax on the productive.

Murphy9 on March 19, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Dang Erika, you and MKH are just full of good news tonight!

Brat on March 19, 2014 at 10:14 PM

lol, makes me want to break out my happy feet and whiskey. Ok, maybe just the whiskey and a cig.

arnold ziffel on March 19, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Every regulation has a cost of compliance. Every regulation is a tax on the productive.

Murphy9 on March 19, 2014 at 10:17 PM

And when you tax a corporation, Those costs are passed on the the consumer. Therefore, corporations don’t pay taxes. They collect taxes. When will we wake up?

KCB on March 19, 2014 at 10:30 PM

KCB on March 19, 2014 at 10:30 PM

And the employees and the investors…

astonerii on March 19, 2014 at 10:32 PM

That means President Obama has added 17,522 pages of regulations in his five years in office; one president growing the regulatory state 11 percent increase in five years

…35,000 …or bust!

KOOLAID2 on March 19, 2014 at 10:32 PM

So not only is he a radical street punk liar and fraud, he’s an effen neurotic control freak. Great stuff, Libbies. The Worst President Ever.

RobertMN on March 19, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Well, at least it easier to get rid of regulations and executive orders than it is to change laws. De-regulation can be the next presidents first order of business which will immediately began to turn the economy around.

Kaffa on March 19, 2014 at 10:39 PM

He has also grown impertinence, by this much.

Schadenfreude on March 19, 2014 at 10:43 PM

I really think we might be reaching a point of critical mass here, where the Legislature cannot check the Executive anymore, because of the sheer volume of work required to do it.

The Executive is too big. The Legislature doesn’t grow as the “government expands.”

Axe on January 4, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 10:45 PM

Every regulation has a cost of compliance. Every regulation is a tax on the productive.

Murphy9 on March 19, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Every new federal employee hired is a tax on the productive.

slickwillie2001 on March 19, 2014 at 10:58 PM

BHO = POS.

’nuff said.

Joe Mama on March 19, 2014 at 10:58 PM

I can’t wait for the shining day when 350 million bureaucrats and regulators are standing around watching one guy pushing a wheelbarrow around.

trigon on March 19, 2014 at 11:27 PM

I can’t wait for the shining day when 350 million bureaucrats and regulators are standing around watching one guy pushing a wheelbarrow around.

trigon on March 19, 2014 at 11:27 PM

What the hell was I thinking?

They’d never let him have a wheelbarrow.

trigon on March 19, 2014 at 11:28 PM

It is going to take someone with chain drive resolve to STOP this. To say nothing of REVERSING it. I doubt that the Stupid Party can find, nominate and support ANYONE with such fortiude to rectify this slow rolling disaster of federal mandated encumberances.

But I damn guarantee that Killary will simply continue the crushing of America.
King Putt is a closet Communist and Comunism is basically Socialism in a hurry. Hillary is just a control freak.

Jefferson, Madison, Mason, etc, are rolling in their graves.

The Gimmedats have crippled this country for decades to come.
I wonder if the Manure Spreading Media will rediscover its true and fundamental calling?
Probably about the time swine require ATC transponders.

Stupid Americans.

Missilengr on March 19, 2014 at 11:57 PM

♫ I’m a Stasi
he’s a Stasi,
she’s a Stasi,
We’re the Stasi…
Wouldn’t you like to be a Stasi too?♫

viking01 on March 20, 2014 at 12:03 AM

The numbers don’t really tell the story.

There are regulations and there are regulations. Some are needed and help the economy by enabling businesses to plan ahead. But those entered on the Register by Obama have been the most anti-business, anti-growth regulations in human history.

They may be “up 11%” in raw numbers, but their negative effects are far more devastating.

Adjoran on March 20, 2014 at 1:34 AM

More regulations? What’s the problem,? If you want to control the people like cattle then you have to build a lot more fencing and lock a lot of gates.

Don L on March 20, 2014 at 5:32 AM

As i said, they used their political capital on the Affordable Care Act. That would arguably be a benefit to retirees and to the middle class. Let’s not argue if it actually is a benefit, but you’re position that they were intentionally screwing those two groups is invalidated that they passed legislation intended to help those exact two groups…
 
segasagez on February 18, 2014 at 3:12 PM

 
Whoa. That’s quite the admission. So, almost exactly like the stock market bubble, they didn’t know what buttons to push or what happened when they pushed them, or they did it on purpose.
 
Again, there are no other choices. They either knew what they were doing or they didn’t. You hinted at it, but which do you currently believe it was?
 
Regardless, so your position is that the Obama administration has been impotent since passing Obamacare?
 

rogerb on February 18, 2014 at 3:23 PM

rogerb on March 20, 2014 at 6:27 AM

This is why the recovery is basically stagnant.

sadatoni on March 20, 2014 at 8:03 AM

The typical Republican attitude of following the same path slowly is not going to save anything. There needs to be a big, ongoing rollback.

David Blue on March 20, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Go to any lefty website and try to point this out. The people we are dealing with there are not what you’d call free thinkers, they literally need devices in the way of arguing points too be able to talk about the right.
They hardly ever, never discuss a true policy idea; they only parrot faux wars on insert minority group here, or the right is the party of no.

Michh on March 20, 2014 at 8:34 AM

Come on. Lets be honest here. Click the link.

GWB added 20,000 pages in 8 years

Obama has added 18,000 in 5 years

I hate to break it to you, but my swag says that is not statistically significant.

Nice try, though.

deadrody on March 20, 2014 at 9:01 AM

PS – the percentage increase during the Bush presidency would be 14.5%.

Like I said, nice try, though.

deadrody on March 20, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Come on. Lets be honest here. Click the link.

GWB added 20,000 pages in 8 years

Obama has added 18,000 in 5 years

I hate to break it to you, but my swag says that is not statistically significant.

Nice try, though.

deadrody on March 20, 2014 at 9:01 AM

So, more regulatory state says “deadrody.”

Great!

Murphy9 on March 20, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Pinprick arguments, all. Big Bureaucracy is a juggernaut, aided and abetted by Big Gummint created by both parties. The nature of ANY organization is to grow. The Fathers knew this and instituted laws to ‘check’ its growth, but with the proviso that the ‘lawmakers’ be checked by an educated, informed, electorate. Well, the ‘electorate’ has been dumbed down by Progressive Reeducation Camps, the media (charged with keeping us , honestly, informed) has shifted to the far left of the shark tank with its blathering of the Party line, ‘elected officials’ have made a profession of permanent employment as the sycophants of destructive ideology and cronyism (pick yer poison)and all of which continue to feed the beast. Nothing will change until the whole system implodes. It won’t be purty…

vnvet on March 20, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Come on. Lets be honest here. Click the link.
GWB added 20,000 pages in 8 years
Obama has added 18,000 in 5 years
I hate to break it to you, but my swag says that is not statistically significant.
Nice try, though.
deadrody on March 20, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Dude, both are bad. That’s also the point. No one on here is going to argue the GWB was a conservative. So keep on thinking someone is going to defend his overreach. . But Obama’s flavor of regulation and meddling is even more poisonous, and insidious. Bush did it too is something we are painfully aware of. No cheer leading here because he had an R behind his name. But I do not think Bush was malicious. I do think Obama is exquisitely so.

Cliff by the Ford on March 20, 2014 at 9:59 AM

What else would you expect from someone admittedly tutored by Communist Frank Marshall Davis, who studied Socialist Saul Alynski and who has even quoted from his book ‘Rules for Radicals’ during his Inauguration, who was mentored by racist hate-spewing Anti-American ‘pastor Jeremiah Wright, and who ‘hated’ this country so much that he promised once elected he would ‘Fundamentally Change’ it, which…sadly…he has.

easyt65 on March 20, 2014 at 10:11 AM

The Dodd-Frank regs are unbelievable. Thousands of pages, and they aren’t even halfway done yet. The CFPB needed 1000 pages for a rule to simplify mortgage disclosures. That about sums up this Administration’s philosophy.

The creation of the CFPB alone represents a gigantic expansion of the regulatory state. This agency already has 2000 employees, is claiming enforcement authority it doesn’t have, and is trying to bootstrap new rules via lawsuits, settlements, and simple bullying. And it is putting out regulation after regulation on every financial product under the sun. This is stifling innovation in financial products and preventing a lot of job creation as a result. Banks are laying off sales people and tellers, and hiring lawyers and compliance experts. That’s bad for the middle class.

And this doesn’t even take into account the egregious and rampant use of the “sue and settle” technique by the EPA and DOJ. Mortgage servicing, for example, is governed by a lengthy de facto set of rules that were agreed upon in a huge settlement with DOJ by five companies after the “robo-signing” scandal.

rockmom on March 20, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Oh, and if you still think it won’t make any difference if we elect a Democrat or Republican as President in 2016 – it may not make a lot of difference in terms of overall government spending, but a Republican administration sure as hell will put the brakes on all the regulatiory nonsense and maybe even repeal some of the junk put out in this administration. Reining in the EPA and CFPB alone is worth fighting for.

rockmom on March 20, 2014 at 10:36 AM

More regulations? What’s the problem,? If you want to control the people like cattle then you have to build a lot more fencing and lock a lot of gates.

Don L on March 20, 2014 at 5:32 AM

You’d think that’s why they’ll eventually build a fence around the US once they get eight more with Hildog and fully implement their dystopian regime .. who knew Hollyweird was so precognitive?!

GKChesterton99 on March 20, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Most, if not virtually all, economic models don’t include regulation as a factor in economic growth. Some regulation is usually a positive , over NO regulation, but the problem arises from the perception that there is no point where the marginal benefits from regulation turn negative and can become steeply negative. So more regulation is considered always good and anyone who disputes that obviously wants human meat, adulterated foods, and dangerous devices sold in the marketplace.

Regulations is a cost. A lot of regulation is a lot of cost. It has an incentive effect on producers — a producer makes 100, regulation costs 10, so the producer realizes 90… now in some later round of regulation the regulation cost is now 30, so the producer who may or may not make more than 100 (assuming the additional regulations don’t really produce any additiona benefit to the producer as such) now realizes 70, a loss of 20 from before. Now the producers wonders whether 100 hour weeks, no vacation, no time to spend with family, is worth the effort. Maybe yes. Maybe no.

Then lets heap on high (i.e. 40%) taxes because it is needed for the wealth transfer system for the less fortunate. Then look at the producer. Progressives assume that the producer will ALWAYS produce and that regulation and taxes have no effect on how much the producer’s efforts. They do no take into account that people do make decisions based on the incentives they see and not what others think they should see.

Russ808 on March 20, 2014 at 4:29 PM