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Discussion Starter #1
The President says he wants to cut the red tape. I applaud the rhetoric... but the reality is much more grim.



The President's new executive order says agencies must consider "equity, human dignity, fairness, and distributive impacts" as benefits of regulation.

President Obama's executive order to sweep out the regulatory chimneys deserves the benefit of the doubt, if only on the chance that it does some modest good. But now that we've had a chance to inspect the fine print, there's reason to believe this is less than meets the press release.

No sooner had Mr. Obama told the bureaucracies to subject all regulations to a cost-benefit test than the bureaucrats began telling reporters that they are already a model of modern efficiency, thank you very much. Among many others, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement that it was "confident" it wouldn't need to alter a single current or pending rule. "In fact, EPA's rules consistently yield billions in cost savings that make them among the most cost-effective in the government."

Perhaps the EPA's confidence owes to a little-noticed proviso in Mr. Obama's order. When the agencies weigh costs and benefits, the order says, they should always consider "values that are difficult or impossible to quantify, including equity, human dignity, fairness, and distributive impacts."

Talk about economic elasticities. Equity and fairness can be defined to include more or less anything as a benefit. Under this calculus, a rule might pass Mr. Obama's cost-benefit test if it imposes $999 billion in hard costs but supposedly results in a $1 trillion increase in human dignity, whatever that means in bureaucratic practice. Another rule could pass muster even if it reduces work and investment, as long as it also lessens income inequality.

Any cost-benefit analysis depends to some extent on matters of judgment, but typically the criteria are more economically tangible, such as how to price risk or the discount rate. No business would recognize Mr. Obama's version, since his "values" loophole boils down to a preference for bigger government. The danger is that his executive order will transform an important tool to check excessive regulation into a way to justify whatever rule the permanent bureaucracy wants.

The current EPA is a perfect case study. One of Administrator Lisa Jackson's top priorities is "explicitly integrating environmental justice considerations into the fabric of the EPA's process," as a July 2010 memo to all senior regulators put it.

"Environmental justice" is the left-wing grievance movement that claims pollution has a disproportionate effect on minorities and the poor. Ms. Jackson's memo introduced new regulatory guidance—that is, rules about how to make rules—so every EPA action has "a particular focus on disadvantaged or vulnerable groups."

Ms. Jackson wrote that a new goal for rulemaking, enforcement and permitting is to have "a measurable effect on environmental justice challenges." But these amorphous concepts are not measurable at all. According to this guidance, EPA must nonetheless consider them when estimating the "economic impacts of regulations," and even its scientific analysis should "encompass topics beyond just biology and chemistry." So put on your lab coat and complete a randomized controlled experiment in politics.

Sure enough, EPA justifies its 2009 carbon "endangerment finding" by noting that climate change will "add further stress to an existing host of social problems that cities experience, including neighborhood degradation, traffic congestion, crime, unemployment, poverty, and inequities in health and well-being." Oh, and it will "accentuate the disparities already evident in the American health care system, as many of the expected health effects are likely to fall disproportionately on the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and the uninsured."

So while Mr. Obama wants the country to think a new rigorous empiricism is guiding his government, his appointees can justify any rule that fits their ideological goals. This sounds more like the end of cost-benefit analysis than the beginning.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704881304576094132896862582.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
 

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When will some journalist ask the Obama administration for a running tabulation of the regulatory changes made as a result of his executive order? Isn't this important information? My guess is there will be nearly zero changes. If so, we should know about it. Someone should make this their ongoing project to keep the public informed of this process.
 

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I don't know if you guys are reading as deeply in to this as I am... but this is some scary ****. At any time, the EPA may dictate at will, virtually any new regulation upon citizens and industry based upon their notion of equality and social justice. Zero proof is needed or offered.

Holy ****!
 

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I don't know if you guys are reading as deeply in to this as I am... but this is some scary ****. At any time, the EPA may dictate at will, virtually any new regulation upon citizens and industry based upon their notion of equality and social justice. Zero proof is needed or offered.

Holy ****!
Sounds almost, tyrannical, huh? :laughing: This is no surprise, the administration has already expressed it's desire to de-develop the US, to make energy prices skyrocket, and to rule by sidestepping the court system...

The previous administration was almost as bad.. and the next one will be worse.
 

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When will congress stand up for the people and exert it's power to rein in this legislating by executive fiat? It goes against the separation of powers of the branches of government set up in the constitution and must be stopped. Obamacare is set up to be completely run by executive branch regulation writing. Hundreds of thousands of regs will rule every aspect of our lives. Congress! Get some balls!!!!!
 

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When will congress stand up for the people and exert it's power to rein in this legislating by executive fiat? It goes against the separation of powers of the branches of government set up in the constitution and must be stopped. Obamacare is set up to be completely run by executive branch regulation writing. Hundreds of thousands of regs will rule every aspect of our lives. Congress! Get some balls!!!!!
You just can't make the connection.. :laughing: There will be no Obamacare repeal, there will be no meaningful spending cuts, there will be no reigning in the executive branch. Too many people make a career out of politics. Growing the government is their only interest and we can't elect enough people to overcome what is already in place. There will be posturing, speeches, etc, etc, but nothing will really change. Remember Clinton? "The era of big government is over". Then came GW Bush, and big government was taken to a level never imagined before. Now we have Obama, taking it even further.. there is no turning this Titanic, the ice berg is way too close.
 

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You just can't make the connection.. :laughing: There will be no Obamacare repeal, there will be no meaningful spending cuts, there will be no reigning in the executive branch. Too many people make a career out of politics. Growing the government is their only interest and we can't elect enough people to overcome what is already in place. There will be posturing, speeches, etc, etc, but nothing will really change. Remember Clinton? "The era of big government is over". Then came GW Bush, and big government was taken to a level never imagined before. Now we have Obama, taking it even further.. there is no turning this Titanic, the ice berg is way too close.
I'm glad I'm not knocking down a series of Patrons with you. Before the night was over, we would probably be committing suicide. :laughing:
 

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I'm glad I'm not knocking down a series of Patrons with you. Before the night was over, we would probably be committing suicide. :laughing:
:laughing: I'm not worried about suicide, just the kids and grandkids when they figure out what we allowed to happen to them. :lookinup:
 

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:laughing: I'm not worried about suicide, just the kids and grandkids when they figure out what we allowed to happen to them. :lookinup:
Speaking of the future and our kids, here is an excerpt from Ben Stein's op-ed about the speech. We as a country don't talk about this enough, because it is the key to our future.

"When Mr. Obama says he's going to reform American education by setting higher standards, he is just baying at the moon. Most of the nation's public school pupils are not achieving at even close to the rates of the students in other advanced nations. The problem is intensely concentrated among the nonwhite students of this nation. If we cannot find a way to get these kids working, and working hard, to reach basic educational standards, we will face educational and job force catastrophe. For their sake and for the nation's sake, they have to be helped to help themselves. Unless they can be brought up to standards of other industrial nations, we will become a third world country. This remediation can be done and must be done.
There was not one word about this in Mr. Obama's speech. He kept talking about the Sputnik moment in 1957 when the USA made a major effort to improve its science education. I can remember those days very well. The crisis is that we do not have even remotely the same kind of student population we did in 1957. Not a word about that, either.
The crisis in non-white America will kill us if we don't get it fixed, and slogans and test score measures will not do it.
Truth to tell, I don't know what will fix the problem, but I know it can be done and we had better do it."

Link: http://spectator.org/archives/2011/01/26/obama-and-the-bodysnatchers
 

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The parents have everything to do with their kids' failure or success. Until something is done to ensure kids are in school, shut up and listen to their teachers, do homework, and try their best to accel, nothing will improve.

Many of the "non-white" kids have too many other distractions in their lives to place education anywhere near the top of their priorities.

Again, until the root issues are addressed, anything said about the issue is just rhetoric.
 

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The parents have everything to do with their kids' failure or success. Until something is done to ensure kids are in school, shut up and listen to their teachers, do homework, and try their best to accel, nothing will improve.

Many of the "non-white" kids have too many other distractions in their lives to place education anywhere near the top of their priorities.

Again, until the root issues are addressed, anything said about the issue is just rhetoric.
I absolutely agree. Teachers are NOT the problem with our system, even though I am sure there are some bad teachers. The amount of money spent on education is also NOT the problem. The problem is broken cultures in these communities where education is not valued or stressed. In the case of the African-American community, students who aspire to achieve are sometimes punished by their peers. It falls on parents, communities and the students themselves to do the hard thing and work hard toward a better future for themselves. While I'm sure poverty plays a role in these broken cultures, it is not an excuse for the apathy these parents and students display. I have said for years that the solution to this problem must come from within these communities. They must help themselves. Government is not the answer.
 
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