Sunday, October 23 , 2016, 6:06 am | Overcast 59º

  • Follow Noozhawk on LinkedIn
  • Follow Noozhawk on Pinterest
  • Follow Noozhawk on YouTube

Tom Donohue: Stop Regulatory Madness by Replacing Overreach with Common Sense

Last week, the Dodd-Frank Act — a sweeping law intended to reform our financial regulatory system — turned four years old. But it’s no milestone to celebrate. Dodd-Frank has become the poster child for all that’s wrong with our regulatory system, which errs on the side of excess, overreach, complexity and costliness.

Dodd-Frank layers 400 new rules on top of a regulatory framework that dates back to the 1930s. The rules are complicated, contradictory and overlapping. There are 20 different agencies working to implement those rules, a number of them jockeying for jurisdiction and authority. And there’s almost no coordination among them.

Worst of all, the massive law has done little if anything to actually bring needed reform to the financial regulatory system.

Obamacare is another problem child. The law, which places the equivalent of one-sixth of our economy under bureaucratic control, has been a mess from the start. From legal challenges and overturned provisions to administrative problems and implementation snafus, we are reminded again and again how poorly conceived and badly executed Obamacare has been. And the law hasn’t controlled costs — one of the primary reasons we needed reform in the first place.

Then there’s the Environmental Protection Agency — a true overachiever when it comes to regulatory overreach. Last year, the agency unveiled the first-ever greenhouse gas emissions caps for new power plants, effectively banning the construction of affordable and reliable coal plants. And earlier this year, the EPA proposed new regulations to limit carbon emissions at existing power plants. This complex set of mandates imposes a new regulatory framework on states that will transform how electricity is generated, distributed, transmitted and used.

The latest EPA special is a radical proposal to expand the definition of “Waters of the U.S.” under the Clean Water Act. The rule would subject farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, homebuilders and local governments to new layers of rules and permitting and give regulators greater control over how landowners use their property.

No one is arguing that we shouldn’t have any regulations. But in too many instances the government has gone too far. And if over-regulation is allowed to stand, we’ll continue to see the consequences.

Already, the onslaught of rules is creating uncertainty, stifling hiring and investment and undermining our recovery. It is upsetting the constitutional balance of powers and giving unelected bureaucrats unprecedented control over the lives and businesses of people across this nation.

We can stop the regulatory madness by replacing overreach and excess with common sense and clarity and by truly balancing the costs and the benefits.

— Tom Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed are his own.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >