TheDC had asked Hickenlooper if he and other Democratic governors asked Obama for regulatory relief when they met him Feb. 24 in the White House. “One of the statistics that is amazing is that in first three year of the Obama administration … there have been less regulations in the first three years of the administration than there were in George W Bush['s administration],” Hickenlooper told TheDC Feb. 24.
But Obama’s statements and statistics have been carefully crafted to hide his massive output of expensive regulations.
In his 2012 State of the Union speech, for example, Obama claimed that “I’ve approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his.”
Obama’s statement was true, but skewed, because he’s far outpacing Bush in the production of “economically significant” regulations, each of which imposes costs of more than $100 million per year, said Wayne Crews, a vice president for policy and director of technology studies at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Bush produced 12,587 “final rules” in his first three years, while Obama produced slightly fewer, or 10,810, “final rules,” according to Crews’ data, which is drawn from a federal website, reginfo.gov/public/.
But Obama has produced far more rules that are defined by the federal government as “economically significant” because each imposes a cost of more than $100 million per year. (RELATED: Full coverage of the Obama presidency)
Bush’s deputies finalized 30 “economically significant” rules in his first three years, while Obama’s deputies have produced 893 such rules.
Bush had 71 “economically significant” regulations under consideration in 2003 — many of which were finalized in later years — while Obama has 138 such regulations under consideration in 2011.
Bush’s appointees also generated 16 final rules that have a significant impact on small business in his first three years, while Obama’s appointees have produced 257 similar rules.
When told by the TheDC that Obama had crafted his statements to hide his regulatory wave, Hickenlooper responded, “of course, it’s politics.”
Hickenlooper then said he was interested in verifying the real numbers. “I’m interested. I was a small business guy, and I hate all the regulations,” said Hickenlooper, who owns brewery-pubs in Colorado.
In his Colorado administration, he said, “we’ve got everybody cutting [regulations] … we’ve cut 3,000 regulations just in the first year.”
Republicans derided that claim. “That would be news to me and all Coloradans,” said Chuck Poplstein, the executive director of the Colorado GOP.
Hickenlooper “sat on the sideline time and again when it comes to important issues,” such as a proposal to provide cheap college education for illegal immigrants, Poplstein said.