Americans are learning more about the "fiscal cliff" approaching at the beginning of next year, when tax rates for families and small businesses are set to spike and new taxes in President Obama's health-care spending law take effect. But unless there's real change in Washington, we're also headed for a steep "regulatory cliff" that could compound the damage.
After three years of bureaucratic excess, the Obama administration has been quietly postponing several multibillion-dollar regulations until after the November election.
Those delayed rules, together with more than 130 unfinished mandates under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law, could significantly increase the regulatory drag on our economy in 2013…
Then there is the mega-rule on the shelf at the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) that could block business expansion in many areas of the country. Proposed in 2010, the Ozone Rule would impose a limit on ozone (which creates haze from emissions from cars, power plants and factories) so strict that up to 85% of U.S. counties monitored by the EPA would be in violation. Susan Dudley
, a regulatory economist at George Washington University who served in the previous administration, notes that this rule would force many communities "to forego productive investment and hiring decisions in order to spend hundreds of billions of dollars per year in vain attempts to meet unachievable standards."
The EPA itself says the rule could impose up to $90 billion in yearly costs on manufacturers and other employers.
Last September, after months of public outcry, the White House instructed the EPA to put the rule on ice until 2013, when it will be "revisited.” (AFTER the ELECTION! )