Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What's the End Game for the White House on Regulations?

Ezra writes what I have been thinking all day, 

I occasionally find it difficult to tell whether the Obama administration is doing something because it thinks it needs to be done, doing something because it thinks that it needs to preempt Congress from doing something worse, or both. A good example of this was the federal pay freeze: Did the White House think a federal pay freeze was a good substantive idea, a good political idea, or a good way to keep the Republicans from either cutting federal pay or freezing the number of workers who could be hired? I suspect it was a bit of two and a lot of three, but there's no real way to know.

I'm having a bit of the same feeling with the president's splashy op-ed promising "a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive."

I really don't understand the White House at all and it is really frustrating watching Obama co-opt conservative frames on these issues (and announce them on the op-ed pages of the WSJ!). I feel like I have given the President the benefit of the doubt quite a bit in these first two years but he's rapidly becoming Bill Clinton: The Sequel. Not terrible but certainly not impressive. 

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