A record of destroying needed protections: yet more proof

The latest evidence of the Bush administration's pattern of failing the public comes from the Heritage Foundation, no less. The kind folks at Heritage have actually quantified the rollback: When independent agency rules are excluded, the difference between the Clinton and Bush Administrations' regulatory records becomes much more stark. Less than 7 percent of rules by executive branch agencies during the Clinton years were deregulatory. By contrast, over 28 percent of such rules during the Bush years have reduced burdens. This is a significant difference. Yet increases in regulations have still outnumbered decreases by more than two to one. The sharpest contrast between the two Administrations is in the number of pro-regulatory actions, with the Bush Administration adopting just over seven major rules per year that increased burdens versus over 20 per year under Clinton.40 This difference is particularly noticeable at a few individual agencies. For instance, the Bush EPA has increased burdens twice, as opposed to the Clinton EPA's 26 times. The Department of Labor increased burdens nine times under the Clinton Administration compared to none under Bush. According to these numbers, President Bush has not reversed the growth of federal regulation, but he has slowed it substantially. This finding from a Heritage Foundation report is only the latest confirmation of the administration's failure to protect the men and women of America who have to work for a living, to take care of the environment that our children will inherit from us, or to serve the public interest rather than special corporate interests. For more information (and less of Heritage's congratulatory tone), check out our recent reports on the Bush record.
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