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Red-tape woes

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Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Ever more numerous, burdensome and intrusive federal regulations hinder the economy, crimp liberty and — especially as promulgated by the Obama administration — flout constitutional separation of powers.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce data show that during the Obama administration's first three years, the Code of Federal Regulations grew by 7.4 percent, up from 4.4 percent during President George W. Bush's first term, The Hill newspaper reports.

The Hill also notes President Obama saying after the 2010 elections, “Where Congress won't act, I will.” His administration has done so via executive fiat — end runs around a legislative branch that wouldn't enact his agenda in such areas as immigration, gun control and cybersecurity. And in 2010, it implemented more “major rules” — with annual economic costs exceeding $100 million — than in any year since at least 1997.

“We sit back and ... watch, really, an executive branch that has, I think, arrogant powers of overseeing things,” Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Butler, told The Hill.

“Today, there is no greater impediment to American prosperity than the immense body of regulations,” says the Cato Institute, which publishes the quarterly magazine Regulation.

Indeed, there might be no greater impediment to constitutional governance and Americans' way of life overall than Washington's perpetually more onerous regulations, a thicket of red-tape woe long overdue for pruning.

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