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Red-tape woes

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

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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