John Judis recalls how regulations were assessed in the Bush years:
Bush stopped weighing the costs and benefits of deregulation and issued an executive order allowing OIRA to intercede before agencies made their initial proposals, thereby providing industry lobbyists with a back door to block regulations. OIRA also instructed agencies to discount the value of future lives in constructing cost-benefit analyses by 7 percent a year, so that 100 lives in 50 years would only be worth 3.39 current lives. (Such logic can be used by conservatives to argue that the present cost of regulating greenhouse gases outweighs the future benefits of stopping climate change.) In addition, Bush put a political appointee in each of the regulatory agencies whose job was to make sure they were following OIRA’s dictates. From July 2001 to March 2002, Bush’s OIRA killed 20 regulations, more than Clinton’s OIRA had killed in eight years.
And yet, the Bush administration, like all politicians everywhere, talked in terms of governing for our children, and their children, and their children.
February 16, 2010; 8:08 AM ET
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