Obama’s Regulatory Czar to Return to Academia

Cass Sunstein, the Obama administration’s regulatory czar, has announced that he’ll be returning to academia. His record is hardly a distinguished one.

Check_MarkUnder Cass Sunstein’s leadership of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs — the organization within the Office of Management and Budget that reviews every “economically significant” regulation proposed by an executive branch agency — government regulation has been one of the nation’s few growth industries. In August 2011, Sunstein announced rule changes that supposedly would “save U.S. businesses billions of dollars in regulatory burdens.” But contrary to his claims, the regulatory review that led to these changes was neither “unprecedentedly ambitious” nor did it have a significant effect on the faltering economy.

Sunstein’s academic reputation as a skeptic of over-regulation and an advocate of cost-benefit analysis had lent credence to the promises of President Obama and his minions to limit and rationalize regulation, but instead of reining in the Administration’s excesses, Sunstein collaborated in helping dozens of agencies heap crippling new rules on the U.S. economy.

Sunstein touts the fact that the Obama administration has issued fewer regulations at this point in the president’s term than did George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. But that is a misleading half-truth: Compared with Bush’s first term, the Obama administration has finalized roughly 30 more “economically significant” regulations — defined as those costing $100 million or more.

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Source: Henry I. Miller | Forbes