President Obama is getting a hard time from business these days – or, at least, from business lobbies that have decided they would be better off with Republicans in charge. And, to his credit, the president is apparently listening. Today he issued an executive order to reform the way regulations are analyzed and reviewed, celebrating its unveiling with an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.
Executive orders are, by their very nature, a snooze. But two points are worth extracting from the verbiage. First, the president reaffirmed his commitment to choosing regs whose benefits exceed the costs. Second, he gave the regulatory agencies 120 days to come with rules that should be “modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed.”
A nice beginning. But, based on previous pronouncements of earlier presidents (from both parties), we are skeptical that the order will be implemented well. When push comes to shove in Washington, heavy-duty lobbying has a way of trumping good economics and common sense. Stay tuned.