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Politico: Bad idea to rein in regulators


February 14, 2011- These should be tough times for deregulators, who critics now link to a host of recent calamities: a massive oil spill, an economic collapse that has cost millions of jobs, countless food and toy recalls and repeated tragedies in mines and other workplaces.

Much of Congress’s activity over the past few years has been dedicated to cleaning up these messes — equipping agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission with the resources and laws they need to keep Americans safe.

So why, in the past week alone, have House Republicans held four hearings attacking government regulations?

This rash of hearings is not just showmanship. This session, Congress will consider the REINS Act, which would require congressional approval of any major regulations before they could take effect. In effect, the bill would take important decisions about our health, safety and economy out of the hands of experts and put them in the hands of politicians beholden to corporate lobbyists and campaign contributors.

Few rules, however sound, would survive this special-interest gauntlet. The House is also due to vote on a rule that would require 10 House committees to investigate the agencies within their jurisdictions. These measures are nothing short of an attack on good government: an attempt to block government agencies from protecting our air, water, economy and lives.

The new House majority apparently wants more mayhem. Its strategy is to talk about the purported burdens of regulation on “job creators” — the large corporations that seem to outsource and downsize at will. House Republicans and their business allies bemoan the costs of regulations, fixating on a recent study claiming that regulations cost $1.75 trillion annually. This study, however, relies on flawed methodology, fails to disclose its calculations, overstates costs and completely ignores the other half of the equation: benefits.

FULL STORY HERE:

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