Obama Oversees Year of Mass Regulation, Record 97,000 Pages of Red Tape

Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images
Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images

President Barack Obama’s administration has added record levels of new regulation in the year 2016, with 18 regulations added for every new law, according to a new analysis by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Whilst Congress passed 211 laws over the course of the year, they had an accompanying 3,852 new federal regulations, costing billions of dollars in both implementation and losses to businesses. This was 443 more regulations than 2015.

There was also a record number of pages of red tape, with 97,110 pages printed on the 2016 Federal Register.

However the level of regulation per new law passed is still down considerably compared to  2013, when the Obama administration introduced 3659 new regulations for just 72 new laws, a record 51 pieces of regulation for every new law.

The record for overall new regulation is still held by George. W. Bush in 2003, who introduced 4148 new rules to improve security following the 9/11 terror attacks, 21 one pieces of regulation for every law.

However, the report states that “the multiple [of number of regulations per law passed] did tend to be higher during Obama administration. Bush’s eight years averaged 20, while Obama’s almost-eight have averaged 29.”

“There’s no pattern to any of this, since the numerators and denominators can vary widely; there had been 114 laws in 2015, and a multiple of 39. The multiple can be higher with fewer laws, or with more regulations, holding the other constant. The point is that agencies do the bulk of lawmaking, no matter the party in power,” the report continued.

Throughout the election campaign, President-elect Donald Trump promised to cut taxation as well as much federal regulation that has risen under Obama. A report from the American Action Forum found that will save the financial services industry at least $1.7 billion per year.

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