Have you heard the one about how there’s been an explosion in the number of federal regulators? Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute looked into the numbers behind that claim, and it turns out that almost all of those additional “regulators” work for the Department of Homeland Security, protecting us against terrorists.
Yes, protecting us against terrorists, for sure, and doing a good job…but in the process making it more difficult for foreign business execs, scientists, and engineers to enter the country…and slowing down air travel…and forcing telecom companies to open up holes in their systems….and forth.
I’m not arguing that these actions are or are not necessary. But many of the mandates created by Homeland Security are de facto regulations that have imposed an enormous economic burden on the country over the past ten years.
Finally, let me quote what Mike Konczal actually wrote, in response to my piece (my emphasis added)
The Bush-era brought you a regulatory state of militarized borders, drug wars, strategically weakened financial regulatory bodies for convenient regulatory shopping, and aggressive use of patents to shut down competition. This is not the regulatory state I fight for.
Bottom line: The economy doesn’t care whether regulations were passed by Republicans or Democrats. An over-regulated country is not going to be innovative, whether the regulations are red or blue.