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Cutting red tape? Only adding more

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Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, 8:57 p.m.

Further confirming the Obama administration's through-the-looking-glass nature, a new report says the net effect of an executive order issued three years ago, touted as cutting red tape, has been $10.2 billion in additional regulatory costs.

President Obama falsely called his Executive Order 13563 “unprecedented.” The American Action Forum report notes that all presidents since Jimmy Carter have issued executive orders on regulatory reform.

Mr. Obama described the order's intent as reducing paperwork and avoiding “excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation.” Yet its net effect has proven to be the opposite, according to Sam Batkins, the forum's director of regulatory policy.

“Final rules have cut 7.9 million hours of paperwork, but Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act have easily outpaced those deregulatory gains,” he told The Washington Free Beacon.

Since fiscal year 2010, paperwork needed to comply with regulations is up by 17 percent, taking an additional 1.5 billion hours — enough to occupy 750,000 full-time workers. Paperwork hours to comply just with Department of Health and Human Services regulations have increased 26 percent.

Those additional burdens, which have hindered the economic recovery, are bad enough. But just as appalling — and just as characteristic of this big-government White House — is the gall displayed by the Obama administration when it claims to be cutting red tape when the opposite is true.

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