Critics Highlight Negative Impact Of Biden’s ‘Regulatory Octopus’

While it might be common knowledge across the ideological spectrum that Democrats are generally more likely to expand government regulations than Republicans, the true cost of this red tape — both in terms of dollars and freedom — is still a topic of political debate.

As Heritage Foundation senior fellow Stephen Moore argued in a recent op-ed, the nation’s unelected and often unaccountable regulatory agencies have essentially cemented a position as the fourth branch of the federal government.

He wrote that the “regulatory octopus” has seen its collective budget more than triple over the past three decades — even after adjusting for inflation. Judging by President Joe Biden’s wishlist, the cost to taxpayers will top $100 billion.

Worse yet, what Americans receive in return is a seemingly endless list of rules and restrictions that impede individual liberty.

Moore’s solution involves slashing the regulatory state, noting that the legislative branch “still has power over the purse” and should use that constitutional authority to address the situation.

“The Republican should start by ensuring that the snoops at the IRS don’t get 87,000 more IRS agents to harass citizens and pry into every private transaction we make,” he added.

A 2022 report by the Heritage Foundation called out the Biden administration for its 35% increase in regulation compared to the same period in the Trump administration.

Among the arguably unnecessary and wasteful spending approved by Biden, the report revealed, was a requirement that automakers implement revised seat belt alert systems for rear-seat passengers even though research shows that four-fifths of motorists approve of the existing system.

Earlier this year, U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) delivered remarks from the Senate floor that denounced Biden’s extensive promotion of new government regulations.

“With the modern expansion of the regulatory state, presidents have a tremendous amount of power to affect our economy and federal policy through regulation,” he asserted. “And President Biden has made aggressive use of regulatory power to push his agenda – and burden our economy in the process.”

Not only are many of these rules intrusive or redundant, Thune argued, but some appear impossible to enforce.

“Take the Biden administration’s proposed rule to require federal contractors to disclose their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions – and, in some cases, not only their own direct and indirect emissions but also related emissions over which the contractor has no control,” he added. “This rule is not only impractical — it’s unclear how contractors would even begin to gauge emissions over which they have no control — but it’s likely to be both costly and burdensome. By the government’s own reckoning the rule would cost affected small businesses more than $600 million over its first 10 years.”