The Economist: “beef up . . . OIRA”

From: The Economist | Grudges and kludges

Too much federal regulation has piled up in America
Republicans and Democrats have been equally culpable in adding to the rulebook


When a government agency writes a significant regulation—mostly defined as one costing more than $100m—it must usually prove that the rule’s benefits justify its costs. Its analysis goes through the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), a nerdy outpost of the White House. The process is meticulous. The OECD, a club of mostly rich countries, finds that America’s analysis of regulations is among the most rigorous anywhere.


Instead, Congress could beef up the institutions which scrutinise cost-benefit analysis away from the heat of politics. The obvious place to start would be OIRA, which has seen its budget fall by a quarter and its staff halved over the past three decades, even as the regulation it must scrutinise has proliferated.

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