Aug
24
2011

News Report: Costly, Unnecessary Regulations Are Strangling the Economy

OK, that headline reflects one of the most common right-wing complaints against the Obama administration. (See Bill O'Reilly's bullet point on Monday: "Increased federal regulations: Cutting into profits and causing banks to hoard, not lend money.")

That's the right-wing argument, but it's also the premise of some news reporting. Take this lead in today's USA Today:

WASHINGTON — President Obama's effort to roll back costly regulations that are not needed could save more than $10 billion over five years, but critics say that's a drop in the bucket.

That's a lot to pack into one sentence: Regulations are costly and unnecessary, and the only critics worth mentioning are the ones who say there should be more cuts.

In reality, there are plenty of critics who warn that cutting regulations can be dangerous to public safety and a giveaway to corporate interests. (See the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards.) And as Rena Steinzor of the Center for Progressive Reform points out, while corporations are always going to want the government to do them more favors, there are real issues of concern about what we know so far:

In some instances, though, the changes, if done as planned, would have real-life negative consequences: The planned axing of "clearance testing" under EPA's renovation, repair and painting rule will save money, yes, but run the risk of leaving lead dust behind to poison children when they move back into renovated buildings.

Totally unnecessary, in other words.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.