OMB Report on Regulations Not Representative

8/26/13
 
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from NCPA,
8/26/13:

Every spring the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) releases [two reports,] the president’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year [and] at the same, OMB produces another document, one that’s a manifestation of the management half of its portfolio: The Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations. While it garners much less attention than the president’s budget, the cost-benefit report deserves much closer scrutiny, because it perennially misrepresents the activities of the regulatory agencies as being above reproach.

Since Ronald Reagan was in office all presidents have had an executive order in place mandating that “economically significant” regulations issued by executive agencies be subject to a formal cost-benefit analysis showing that the benefits outweigh the costs.

he problem is that the report is of little use in discerning whether this is, in fact, the truth.

Most important, the report includes only a few regulations. While 3,700 regulations were issued in fiscal year 2012, with 80 of them being categorized as “major,” only 14 regulations were included in OMB’s analysis.

As it currently stands, some entities that issue regulations don’t bother, and are not required, to do cost-benefit analyses.

Still, OMB is cherry-picking less than 1 percent of regulations issued in 2012 to present in its report.

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