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  • Commentary posted May 15, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Regulating escalators and escalating regulation

    What do restaurant menus, refrigerators, community banks and escalators have in common? All were subjected to yet more federal regulation last year. No fewer than 184 "major" new rules have been imposed since the start of the Obama administration, costing Americans about $80 billion per year in additional regulatory costs. And many more regulations are on the way.…

  • Backgrounder posted May 11, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Red Tape Rising: Six Years of Escalating Regulation Under Obama

    The number and cost of government regulations continued to climb in 2014, intensifying Washington’s control over the economy and Americans’ lives. The addition of 27 new major rules[1] last year pushed the tally for the Obama Administration’s first six years to 184, with scores of other rules in the pipeline. The cost of just these 184 rules is estimated by regulators to…

  • Issue Brief posted February 24, 2015 by Diane Katz Export-Import Bank Impervious to Reform

    Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, some Members of Congress believe that a few legislative tweaks will remedy all that is wrong with the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im).[1] In fact, the pending House bill to reauthorize Ex-Im through 2019 is largely a regurgitation of “reforms” previously mandated by Congress—without appreciable effect. The only meaningful way to…

  • Commentary posted January 28, 2015 by Diane Katz, James L. Gattuso Growth of regs threatens liberty

    To say that Americans have a regulation problem is putting it lightly. For instance, the government is now setting the serving size of breath mints, and demanding 12-point type on clothing labels. It prohibits dog walkers from strolling with more than four pooches, and requires cat food manufacturers to list calories in “kilocalories per kilogram.” The feds also…

  • Commentary posted January 5, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Ten worst regulations of 2014

    As 2014 comes to a close, it is enveloped in red tape. From the breakfast table to the night light, government regulators invaded nearly every moment of our lives. Here's our take on the 10 worst examples of the past year: 10. Federal Censorship Commission. The FCC began considering a petition to revoke the broadcast license of a Washington, D.C., radio station for using…

  • Commentary posted November 17, 2014 by Diane Katz, James L. Gattuso Obama's Final Two Years: A Sprint on Regulation?

    The election results were a crushing political blow for the Obama administration, giving Republicans firm control of both houses of Congress for the final two years of his term. But this in no way signals the end of the president's policy agenda. It simply shifts the action to regulatory agencies. In the days since the vote, this has already begun. Obama is moving…

  • Backgrounder posted October 31, 2014 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Regulation: Killing Opportunity

    In his January 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama vowed to wield his executive powers when faced with congressional resistance to his legislative agenda: “America does not stand still—and neither will I,” he said. “So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation … that’s what I am going to do.”[1] This provocative declaration was…

  • Commentary posted October 10, 2014 by Diane Katz Responsible to Taxpayers, Not Corporations, Congress Shouldn't Renew Export-Import Bank's Charter

    There is something unseemly about a $90 billion corporation - i.e., Boeing - demanding ever more taxpayer subsidies to export its products. And it is downright ludicrous for the company to warn of "Armageddon" should Congress eliminate the source of said subsidies, the Export-Import Bank. All of which makes for a brazen corporate welfare campaign - one wholly…

  • Commentary posted September 19, 2014 by Diane Katz The Latest Anti-Small-Business Effort to Stop Global Warming

    There is one policy arena in which President Obama definitely does not lead from behind: the imposition of costly and pointless environmental regulation. The president on Tuesday announced a crackdown on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a group of coolants used in virtually every home, office, and automobile. Unless we discontinue their use, we are told, the oceans will…

  • Commentary posted September 8, 2014 by Diane Katz Export-Import Bank 'benefits' are grossly misrepresented

    Is it possible to eliminate a government subsidy or will the forces of corporate welfare inevitably prevail? That's the essence of the current debate over the Export-Import Bank, the fate of which must be settled by members of Congress upon their return to the Capitol next week. The obscure government agency dubbed “Ex-Im” funnels billions of dollars to foreign firms…

  • Commentary posted August 25, 2014 by Diane Katz Ex-Im Bank little more than corporate welfare

    Congress is debating the fate of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an obscure government agency that funnels subsidies to foreign firms for the purchase of American exports. Proponents claim the bank aids small business, creates jobs and "levels the playing field" in global trade. In fact, Ex-Im does nothing of the kind, and Americans deserve to know the truth about what is…

  • Testimony posted August 7, 2014 by Diane Katz Mismanagement of Export-Import Bank Invites Fraud

    Testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs United States House of Representatives July 29, 2014 Chairman Jordan, Ranking Member Cartwright, and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify this morning. My name is Diane Katz. I am a Research Fellow in Regulatory…

  • Commentary posted July 30, 2014 by Diane Katz Ex-Im Bank - A Conduit for Corporate Welfare

    The most successful lobbyists in the nation’s capital are masters of masquerading propaganda as fact. Repeat even outright falsehoods with a modicum of conviction, and they start to sound like truth. So be forewarned: claims about the manifold small-business benefits of the Export-Import Bank of the United States are simply fictitious. Until recently, few Americans had…

  • Commentary posted July 30, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D., Diane Katz Dodd-Frank an Unfinished Failure

    This month marks the 45th anniversary of man landing on the moon, and the fourth anniversary of the signing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The two events couldn’t be more different. The moon landing was a rousing, tangible achievement that millions of people watched on TV. Dodd-Frank was an amorphous piece of legislation that failed to…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Diane Katz Ex-Im Bank and the Bigger Fight Against Cronyism

    Few Americans know much about the Export-Import Bank, and yet this obscure government agency is currently the focus of intense debate in the nation's capital. So what gives? At the most practical level, lawmakers must decide whether to reauthorize Ex-Im's charter, which expires on Sept. 30. The bank provides taxpayer-subsidized financing to foreign firms so they can buy…