by Frank Holmes, reporter
It’s not every day that inflation makes numbers go down but, if there’s anything the last two years have shown, it’s that Joe Biden’s America doesn’t play by the rules.
Joe Biden has found a silver lining to his poor handling of the economy: It gave him an excuse to write even more rules while avoiding scrutiny from his own administration.
Biden managed to use the super-charged rate of inflation to introduce even more “economy-crushing regulations”—and actually make it look like he’s cutting the number down.
Here’s how the sneaky process works — and why it cost you everything from your job to your life.
While the media focus on a gridlocked Congress, Biden and his administration have sidestepped the democratic process by writing executive orders, rules, and regulations.
For 30 years, the federal government has had a simple rule: If one of the regulations that federal bureaucrats draws up will have at least $100 million impact on the economy, it was considered “economically significant.” The government had to keep a list of these regulations, and all their positive and negative impacts had to be written up in a public report by a federal agency called the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).
The president could still go ahead with the rule, but everyone would be put on notice—and the president could more easily be blamed for the harm it causes to the economy.
Joe Biden doesn’t like being held accountable. So, he signed Executive Order 14094 that doubled it, to $200 million—and the reason he gave should make your blood boil.
Biden said, because of the runaway inflation he’s caused, $100 million isn’t “economically significant” any more: Now, a rule has to cost $200 million a year before being analyzed.
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It’s “a bit laughable to declare that a new regulation costing $199 million is somehow not economically significant,” wrote Eric Boehm in Reason magazine in April.
And to make sure the number keeps rising, Biden pegged that number to rise with inflation every year.
With the stroke of a pen, that makes Biden look like he’s a financial conservative, cranks up the number of jobs destroyed or exported overseas, and lets him dodge responsibility.
First, this order means the number of “economically significant” regulations will shrink by as much as 90-plus percent, to less than 18 rules.
In real life, “there are nearly 300, rather than fewer than two dozen, rules in the apparently soon-to-evaporate ‘economically significant’ category,” said Clyde Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, or CEI.
Second, Biden rebranded these rules from “economically significant” to “Section 3(f)(1) significant,” which Crews asked, “doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it?”
Third, the way Biden seems ready to phase out the term “economically significant” altogether, throwing it “entirely in the past tense.”
“This term (economically significant) was used for regulatory actions reviewed between September 30, 1993…and April 6, 2023,” says the Biden White House’s new 2023 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.
Why should you care about these arcane federal registration shenanigans? Because regulations don’t just affect businesses: They affect your job, your bank account, even your life.
First, when more economically significant rules get published, you get fewer new inventions and improvements, MIT found in a study published last month.
Second, Biden’s rules are coming for construction jobs like a wrecking ball.
The average U.S. company paid $9,991 per employee every year due to federal regulations—in 2019, before 2.5 years of Bidenflation.
But the average U.S. manufacturer “pays nearly double that amount—$19,564 per employee per year,” according to an analysis from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). “Small manufacturers, or those with fewer than 50 employees, incur regulatory costs of $34,671 per employee per year,” which is “more than three times the cost borne by the average U.S. company.”
Thanks to just the new federal regulations introduced between 1997 and 2015, NAM found 228,951 people live in poverty—in the state of Louisiana.
If being poor and jobless isn’t bad enough, these regulations can literally kill you.
Researchers found that every one percent increase in federal regulations increases the state’s mortality index by about one percent, according to the Mercatus Center.
And those figures were from 2019, before Joe Biden went on a tax-and-regulation binge. In 2021 alone, Biden pushed through 69 economically significant rules, under the old definition.
In its first two years in office, the Biden-Harris administration has jacked up regulatory burdens to levels that far surpass the cumulative costs of the Trump and Obama administrations combined, according to Republican lawmakers.
Now, his new rule “would open the doors to a vast expansion of economy-crushing regulations in the service of progressive causes,” said Biden’s Enemy Number One: Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability.
“These actions dramatically threaten to alter federal regulatory development and drive Americans’ regulatory burdens beyond already record-breaking levels,” wrote Comer and Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Pa., in a letter to two Biden officials: Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Richard Revesz, the administrator of OIRA.
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To reel this in, Republicans in the House passed the REINS Act in June: Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) would keep the definition of a “major rule” at $100 million and let Congress overrule the president.
If they fail and Joe Biden gets his way, your health — and your survival — may be at stake.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”