Regulated Nation

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Some scholars are actually entertaining the possibility that America might be overregulated and, of course, you can find them at the Federalist Society. “All three branches have caused it and done nothing to stop it,” Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at American University, said at the Federalist Society’s recent conclave at the Mayflower Hotel here in Washington.

American businesses must comply with about 4,000 new federal regulations per year, William Kovacs of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, noted at the Federalist Society meeting. This is in addition to the 200,000 U.S. government rules that have already been put in place.

Against this backdrop, there is a logjam of regulations that may be keeping the costs down for consumers, who ultimately pay for the rules no matter what their putative benefits. “Congress imposes regulations on agencies that they don’t have the resources to fulfill,” Jonathan Adler, a professor at Case Western, said during the Federalist Society panel.

Thus, “the EPA missed 40 percent of its deadlines” for implementing new regulations, Adler noted.

Susan Dudley of George Washington University observed that the Administrative Procedures Act passed by Congress in 1946 is designed to prevent just such occurrences. The Act, for example, provides for a comment period duirng which the public can comment on new regulations before they go into effect.

As well, according to the Act, “agencies must act with the statute” rather than creating their own laws.