by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
By so many measures, Joe Biden’s presidential administration falls at the bottom of the scale. But there is one metric by which Biden is tops — in fact, the very tops in all of history. That is the regulatory costs his administration has imposed on the nation in a single year.
The American Action Forum, a conservative think tank that tracks government regulation, has tallied up what government agencies estimate their regulations cost. The Biden administration has now imposed $201 billion in regulation — more than three times the cost that President Barack Obama’s very left-wing administration imposed on families and businesses in its first year.
What’s more, Biden’s new regulations are forcing more than 100 million hours of annual paperwork on the nation, far more than either the Obama or Trump administration.
For a presidential administration that has basically failed in every important area — on COVID, on the border, on Afghanistan, on the economy — Biden certainly knows how to succeed when it comes to imposing new costs.
The single most expensive rule change, by far, is a requirement that automakers meet an unrealistic 55 mile per gallon fleetwide average by 2026. But this is only one of many expensive new rules that stand to sap the bank accounts and energy of entrepreneurs and families.
This is one of the many areas in which we are already missing the Trump administration. For all his faults, Trump made a point of repealing at least one regulation for every new one put into effect. This was a revolutionary idea that actually reduced costs. It was one factor that helped usher in prosperity and unprecedented low levels of unemployment prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden is now crushing the life out of the economy with his regulatory frenzy. And unfortunately, he’s only just gotten started.