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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 7, 2012/ 17 Sivan, 5772

Reining in runaway regulators . . . And clawing back powers intended for Congress

By George Will



JewishWorldReview.com | All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress . . .

The Constitution

Article I, Section 1

Having cleared its throat with the Preamble, the Constitution buckles down to business with those words, which Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) takes seriously. He is retiring from Congress, leaving behind excellent legislation that could claw back from the executive-branch responsibilities that the Founders intended for the government’s first branch.

Davis’s Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act would redress constitutional imbalance and buttress the rule of law by compelling Congress to take responsibility for the substance that executive rulemaking pours into the sometimes almost-empty vessels that Congress calls “laws.”

The 165,000 pages of the Code of Federal Regulations contain tens of thousands of rules promulgated by largely unaccountable agencies that churn out more than a thousand new mandates a year. According to the Small Business Administration, regulations cost the economy about $1.75 trillion, almost twice the sum of income tax receipts. Davis says that small businesses are spending $10,500 per employee on regulatory compliance. The REINS Act would require Congress to vote on a resolution of approval concerning every “major” regulation (with an economic impact of $100 million or more). There are 212 such regulations among the 4,128 currently in the pipeline from unelected executive agencies. If the vote that REINS requires did not occur within 70 days, the regulation would die.

John Marini of the University of Nevada, Reno, writes in the Claremont Review of Books that the 2,500-page Obamacare legislation exemplifies current lawmaking, which serves principally to expand the administrative state’s unfettered discretion. Congress merely established the legal requirements necessary to create a vast executive-branch administrative apparatus to formulate rules governing health care’s 18 percent of the economy.



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The Hudson Institute’s Chris DeMuth, in an essay for National Affairs quarterly, notes that Congress often contents itself with enacting “velleities” such as the wish in the 900-page Dodd-Frank financial reform act that “all consumers have access to markets for consumer financial products and services . . . [that are] fair, transparent, and competitive.” How many legislators voting for the bill even read this language? And how many who did understood that they were authorizing federal rulemakers to micromanage overdraft fees? In Dodd-Frank, Obamacare and much else, the essential lawmaking is done off Capitol Hill by unaccountable bureaucratic rulemaking.

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly and regulators, too, have a metabolic urge to do what they were created to do. Hence, DeMuth says, they often pursue their missions beyond the point of diminishing marginal returns with health, safety, environmental and other standards “with costs exceeding any plausible measure of their benefits.”

Regulatory power is executive power, which can be checked and balanced only by the other two branches. But, DeMuth notes, although courts can, under the Administrative Procedure Act, block regulations that are “arbitrary, capricious” or “an abuse of discretion,” courts usually defer to regulators, partly because courts are usually without requisite scientific or other expertise.

What, then, about Congress, which, as DeMuth says, “has been deeply complicit in fostering regulatory power”? One proposal is to defer all new “major” regulations until unemployment falls to 7.7 percent, just below what it was when Barack Obama was inaugurated. But this would leave the regulatory state in place and poised for action on a backlog of major rules.

Another proposal is for a “regulatory budget,” limiting the costs each regulatory agency could impose. But cost estimates would come from the executive branch, and therefore not be constraining. This defect also infects the proposal (from Virginia’s Democratic Sen. Mark Warner) for “regulatory pay-go,” under which agencies could issue new regulations only by rescinding existing rules that impose the same cost, or some fraction of the cost, of new ones. Indeed, any “enforceable” cost-benefit standard will merely empower executive agencies to enforce their preferences.

Hence the importance of Congress and the indispensability of Davis’s REINS Act. It passed the House last December. But the Democratic-controlled Senate, which will not take responsibility even for producing (as the law requires) a budget, has no desire to restrain the administrative state or to ratify what it does by approving, with statutes, major regulations.

Obama says he would veto REINS. Mitt Romney says that, with or without REINS, he would submit such regulations for congressional approval. Here, then, is the distilled essence of the 2012 choice:

Obama promises the progressive agenda — more executive aggrandizement, more marginalization of Congress, more latitude for unaccountable experts to supervise our lives, more regulatory suffocation of society. Romney promises the reverse.



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