Thursday, December 15, 2005

OMB Report on Bush Regulation Failures

OMB Watch Report on Bush deregulations, but first: Ever since the days of Ronald Reagan the Republican Party has been hard at work to create permanent republican ‘rule’ in this nation. What that means for us, the people who are this nation is: continued corporate deregulation; continued ‘profits over people’; continued trickle-down, supply-side economics; continued loss of freedoms and rights thru the so-called ‘Patriot Act’; elevated spying on us by the Pentagon, FBI, CIA and who knows else; continued rising disparities in income and wealth; and the continued militarization of this nation; it’s a long list so I’ll stop here.

Congress is more responsible for the state we are in right now than anyone else. Instead of stopping the Cheney/Bush Cabal, congress saw the opportunity to jump on the Cheney/Bush bandwagon and push through all those things they wanted to do for years—create a plutocracy/oligarchy/theocracy. Welcome to the ‘New World Order’ ala Cheney/Bush & the Repuglican controlled congress. We have got to seriously think about replacing all 435 members of the House of Representatives in 2006 and start all over. Then we must do the same with the Senate. If we do not, the same professional politicians that are for rent, hire, lease or sale to the highest corporate bidder will continue invoking our names while they proceed to create more “free speech zones” to herd us into.

We have got to start putting Statesmen in office instead of the “professional politicians” we keep sending to congress year after year. The problem—finding Statesmen, but they are out there, and find them we must. -- Jack

White House Report Spins Bush Reg Failures

In a debate with high stakes for a public that is largely unaware of it, the White House released a report on Dec. 7 spinning its anti-regulatory record as a success.

Contrary to expectations, the annual report on the costs and benefits of regulation for 2005 did not announce new burdens on the regulatory process. Instead, the Bush administration used the report to spin its regulatory record as a success for the public, claiming in an accompanying press release that the report demonstrated a record of generating more benefits for the American people at lower cost than previous administrations.

To make the claim, the White House compiles data from agency cost-benefit analyses. These analyses blithely ignore fundamental ethical and moral questions and are inherently political tools that may even advise against what Americans consider our most immutable protections.

Even if the data were not so politically subjective, they still fail to convey the substantive merits of this administration's pattern of failure to protect the public. The report is laudatory spin for the record of John Graham, outgoing administrator of the White House Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, but it does not begin to convey Graham's troubling record of weakening public protections and putting the American people at unnecessary risk.

Here is a quick scan of his record:

**OMB Role in Fuel Economy Change Exposed
**Administration Asks Manufacturers for Regulatory Hit List
**GAO Finds OMB Regulatory Review Not Well Documented
**Graham Advises Agencies on Valuing Lives of Seniors
**OMB Waters Down Standards on Factory-Farm Runoff
**OMB Expands Influence Over Scientific Decisions
**Industry, OMB Press EPA to Offer Exemptions to Clean Air Standards
**Administration Devalues the Elderly
**OMB Blocks Nationwide Health Warning on Asbestos
**OMB Builds Record of Rollbacks
**OMB Weakens Hazardous Waste Rule
**OMB Guts Marine Diesel Rule
**EPA Issues Weak Rule on Snowmobile Emissions After Earful from Graham
**OMB Guts EPA Standards to Limit Construction Runoff
**White House Subverting Health, Safety & Environmental Protection
**OMB Weakens EPA Proposal to Limit Fish Kills from Power Plants
**OMB Hijacks Clean Air Standards
**NHTSA Issues Weakened Tire Pressure Monitoring Rule
**In Rejecting NHTSA Rule, Graham Shows True Colors

Although the final report did not correct the many recurring errors that OMB Watch and other public interest groups have pointed out over the years, it did make some significant improvements from the earlier draft, which include the following:

* The final report eliminated the draft's use of the term "off-budget costs" to refer to the costs borne by industry to comply with regulations. The term, which comes from fiscal policy discourse, has been adopted by industry-funded anti-regulatory think tanks as a rhetorical prelude to proposals for regulatory budgeting. OMBWatch's comments on the draft report urged that the phrase be eliminated from the final report, and we are gratified that OIRA adopted that suggestion.

* The final report made the underlying data of the report more transparent by adding detailed bibliographic information for researchers seeking to look up the agency analyses that serve as the basis for the report. OMB Watch's comments on the draft report called for such information as an aid to those who are commenting on the annual draft release. We are pleased to see that OIRA adopted that recommendation, and we hope OIRA follows through on the related suggestion to make available an electronic docket with links or downloadable copies of analyses and other secondary sources cited in each year's report.

Although this year's report did not announce any new anti-regulatory process changes, OIRA released a separate bulletin

announcing a proposed new policy to politicize and burden the production of agency guidance documents just two weeks prior to the release of this report.

For Additional Information Also See:

On Ending Corporate Dominance


30 Years of Supply-Side/Neo-Liberal Economic Policies Have Created A Disaster and We Will “Reap the Whirlwind”


Class Warfare With Taxes


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