Charting Midnight Regulation Before Dawn: Part 2

From: American Action Forum


Last month, AAF debuted its series tracking regulation in the final year of the Obama Administration. If last month highlighted the high wait times in rules that the White House discharged, February was marked by the historic output of economically significant rules (measures with an impact of $100 million or more). This February, the White House approved 15 economically significant rulemakings. Compared to Februarys in other presidential election years, 2016 was a record-setter; 2004 came in second, with 11 significant regulations.

Moving Forward to Improve Regulation

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation

Regulation is a critical tool in the hands of government to support economic growth and well-being. However, it is often overlooked, with many governments focusing almost all of their energy instead on designing their tax and spending policies. We often hear how politicians raise or reduce taxes or boost or curb public spending to achieve their policy objectives, but only rarely do we hear that they pay attention to the way they develop and enforce regulation. Largely, we take for granted the rules that determine our safety and lifestyle and the playing field of our companies. Yet we should not ignore regulation. When poorly conceived, government rules can result in unintended consequences, excessive costs, or both. Worse, they may not even serve their intended purposes of protecting the public or boosting economic activity.

Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Structure of the Administrative State: The Case of Financial Services Regulation

From: Social Sciences Research Network

Richard L. Revesz

NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 16-07
NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 16-08


Should Federal Regulatory Agencies Report Benefits to Americans from Mandated Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

From: GW Columbian College of Arts & Sciences | Regulatory Studies Center

by Art Fraas, Randall Lutter, Susan E. Dudley, Ted Gayer, John Graham, Jason F. Shogren, W. Kip Viscusi

February 09, 2016

In a letter to the National Academy of Sciences on its project, “Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon,” a group of prominent regulatory economists argues that federal regulatory analysis should compare domestic regulatory benefits to domestic costs. The current government approach of reporting only the global benefits of reducing carbon emissions neglects that duty. The letter recommends that the panel adopt a dual approach that refocuses regulatory impact analysis of climate regulations on domestic benefits, while providing for separate reporting of estimated global benefits.

Responses to Questions for the Record of Jerry Ellig on Moving to a Stronger Economy Through Regulatory Budgeting

From: Western Free Press

February 3, 2016

Senator Michael B. Enzi
Committee on the Budget
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Enzi:

Thank you for the opportunity to testify at the Senate Budget Committee’s December 9, 2015, hearing on the regulatory budget. Below are my responses to the four questions for the record:


The Case for Greater Executive Discretion

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation

In his keynote address at the University of Pennsylvania Law Review’s 2015 Symposium, Cass R. Sunstein challenged the deep-seated suspicion with which many Americans view the executive branch and offered a justification for the role of executive discretion in everyday policymaking.

Sunstein, the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard University and former Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (2009 to 2012), argued that the executive branch is particularly well-equipped to gather and process information on which to base policy decisions. This capability, he suggested, allows the executive branch to make better informed and more rational policy choices relative to the legislative and judicial branches.

The Federal Data Crisis: Unreliable Federal Databases are Destroying Opportunities for Small Businesses

From: CircleID

By Bruce Levinson

Databases are the infrastructure of the modern administrative state and data is its lifeblood. When the data is contaminated with errors, federal agencies have difficulty performing even the most basic administrative functions such as managing its inventory of office space and protecting the personally identifiable information (PII) of social security number holders. The federal dissemination of unreliable data doesn’t just waste money; it undermines public trust in government and leaves it unmanageable.

The Coming of the Regulatory Budget

From: University of Pennsylvania Law School | RegBlog

by Jim Tozzi

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposed the first regulatory budget proposal and regulatory cost accounting legislation in 1979. Subsequently, a number of Presidents and members of Congress have continued to endorse proposals to create a regulatory budget for the federal government.

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Deliberative Democracy In the Trenches

From: SSRN

Forthcoming, Daedalus, symposium on deliberative democracy/Preliminary Discussion Draft

Cass  R.  Sunstein


Regulatory Watchdogs Call for Oversight Reform

From: Heartland

Tony Corvo

A government watchdog organization is calling for changes to how the federal government handles regulatory oversight 35 years after the creation of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), a government agency that oversees all regulations coming out of Washington, DC.


The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE), a nonprofit organization specializing in independent analyses of federal agency regulations and government transparency problems, is drafting recommendations for reforming OIRA.

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