Reader disagrees with senator
Senator Coats, a recent editorial titled, “Freeing Hoosier job creators,” described your Sound Regulation Act. You said, “The bill would require every federal agency to engage in an extensive analysis to determine the actual cost, in dollars, of regulations under each agency’s jurisdiction.” You cited four examples referencing the Environmental Protection Agency twice, the Affordable Care Act and banks and credit unions each once.
I looked up the size of the federal budget for 2014 – about $3,770 billion. Defense, Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid each account for over $600+ billion or 20+ percent of the total. For reference, the EPA budget is $8.2 billion or 0.2 percent of the total.
I tried to imagine what an analysis might look like. This is where things get complicated because it seems an extensive analysis to determine the true cost would also include the opposite – the cost of not having the regulation. It seems you are advocating for analysis to determine, for example:
• the cost of regulations which require clean water compared to the cost if water quality is unrestricted.
• the cost of regulations that provide tuition assistance to military personnel compared to the cost of not providing tuition assistance to military personnel;
• the cost of regulations that provide survivor benefits compared to the cost of not providing survivor benefits;
• the cost of regulations that provide Medicare benefits compared to the cost of not providing Medicare benefits.
The list of regulations requiring analysis seems almost infinite; unfortunately, the money to pay for these analyses is not.
Isn’t the whole point of the legislative branch of government to do this sort of cost-vs.-benefit analysis before the regulations are passed? For someone who’s trying to eliminate paperwork, I believe your bill would do the opposite. It might, however, create a lot of jobs.