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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Beating back the bureaucracy

The tail no longer wags the dog, America.

Under President Trump, Congress has spanked the bureaucracy 13 times so far, as our duly elected have rolled back regulations that hurt American businesses without doing the public any good.

Republicans are not just cutting red tape, they are eliminating it.

From the American Action Forum:
Congress has already passed 13 CRA resolutions, repealing more than $1.1 billion (annually) in past regulations from the Obama Administration. In addition, President Trump has formally delayed and signaled an intention to amend several other major rules. Combined, these actions could generate more than $18 billion in annual regulatory savings for businesses, investors, and consumers.
The regulations that Congress and the administration repealed also carried fiscal impositions, in addition to private-sector regulatory costs. For this research, AAF examine the possible spending implications of regulations repealed via the CRA or delayed formally by the administration.
Combined, five regulations would have cost more than $86 billion in federal funds. Easily the largest rule was the Department of Education’s “Accountability and State Plans” final measure, implementing the “Every Student Succeeds Act.” The regulatory burdens were notable ($73 million in costs and 930,000 paperwork burden hours), but the fiscal imposition could have topped $86 billion alone. The largest component, which was not necessarily struck down by the CRA vote, would have spent $59 billion to fund operations at state and local educational agencies. These are known as Title I funds and likely unaffected by the CRA vote. The regulation contained certain conditions for accessing these funds, but they have still been appropriated and authorized. In addition, “Supporting Effective Instruction” would have appropriated an additional $9.3 billion. Combined, appropriations, “over and above what would have been spent,” reached $86.9 billion.
This is our country.

This is our government.

Either the government serves us, or we dump the government.

On November 8, we made a decision to dump the old way. Congress is following through. That is good to see.

The original, "Trump the Press" chronicled and mocked how the media missed Trump's nomination.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.
Then came "Trump the Establishment," covering the election, which again the media missed.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.

Autographed copies of both books are available by writing me at

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  1. The Hollywood elite, in solidarity with the beaurocrats will start wearing red tape ribbons.

  2. Bureaucracy: The Death Of A Billion Cuts.

  3. I mentioned before about doing a rough calculation of the cost of putting biohazard trash cans in every exam room in every office of every health care practitioner of any kind when the OSHA universal precautions regs were forced through in 1991 or so, without any studies to back them up. The biohazard trash cans were basically the tip of the iceberg, and they came to four billion dollars. I had to hire a nurse to fill out MSDS forms on every substance in the office and have a filebook on all of them, install eyewashes in sinks (never used), and had to hire another to produce a book of policies and procedures in case an OSHA inspector showed up at my door with the power to put me out of business and limit my practice if I was found to have not complied. One of the regs even stated that you could be shut down for a time and fined $10,000 if you had magazines more than six months old laying around because they are a TB hazard. How many documented cases of TB have you heard of being acquired by reading a magazine in a doctor's office? Me either.
    Why do the docs put up with this? For the same reasons corporations anywhere do. The little guy has no time to complain because he's just struggling to make it and he knows that he has no power to appeal if he is found out of compliance. The big guys actually like it because a few small fry competition may be driven out of business, lowering their competition, or may be forced to join them when they tire of compliance. The regs also raise the cost of entry for any others contemplating going into business/practice.
    Wonder why medicine is being corporatized? Why you can't see your old doctor any more? Why you had to take a day off work and are waiting an hour to see a nurse practitioner just to get a prescription renewal that you know you don't need an exam for?
    The best way to abolish regs in medicine is to abolish licensing. It is a monopoly.
    The most ironical thing about all this is that while the progressives of the early twentieth century were railing against trusts and monopolies, they were creating one that would literally enslave the country. Chances are you pay more for health care than you do for taxes. Maybe even food. It is robbery.

    1. How do you run a business keeping you with real scientific developments, while having to keep up with these imaginary ones as well?

    2. Not so sure about abolish licensing of doctors, but other than that I fully agree.

    3. Not so sure about abolish licensing of doctors, but other than that I fully agree.

    4. Knowing help was on the way, I am sure your blood pressure dropped every time a bureaucrat or media news reader or politician trashed your profession as unregulated and in need of more of their superior knowledge.

    5. Don: The one appeal to the physician that the corporate entities make (both profit and nonprofit-- there's really no difference) is that you can just concentrate on medical practice. There you have it. Do you ever see them lift a finger against the regs? No. Because if they did this they would be helping the individual practitioner. This pattern will continue until the boys get to the point that they are going down, too, and then they will appeal for bailouts and special dispensation on the basis that they are too big to fail. This will drive the entire industry farther into the arms of being run by government administration.
      An example that proves the point is the existence of large group practice associations in several specialties, whose initial emphasis was on lobbying for laws favoring big groups. Then the universities and highly capitalized clinics, like Mayo and Cleveland began expanding, as well as the university systems (take a look at your state's largest employers. If you are in a state with a large university health system, either the health system or the university parent is the largest employer in your state). Now these large group practices, which had been expanding at the expense of individuals who couldn't deal with the regs, literally parasitizing solo and small group practitioners, now feel the threat of the really big guys, and are starting to ask the little guys to join them in their fight for survival against the giants. This is too little too late, I'm afraid. Unless they can enjoin legislative or executive measures to ensure survival of some sort.
      AMR: Read chapter nine of Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman. He makes the case better than I can. But I'd like to add: when faced with regs like I outlined above, and you realize that they are only ones that come out of the head of some guy who spent most of his life dealing with the real problems of real people, and realize that the mountain is absolutely mind boggling (go to the law library of the law school nearest you and browse the federal register--if it is still published in paper, I don't know) how do you propose walking even a portion of this stuff? You can let it go and hope that some salutary solution springs from the earth, but that is unlikely. Some end run around the evil is necessary. Disrupting the system by giving other classes of practitioners licenses doesn't seem to be helping. Costs have not come down. The merely share in the plunder.
      A good question to ask yourself is why a Nobel Prize winning economist came to the conclusion that abolition of occupational licensing was the only way out.

  4. Eliminating licensing would seem to me to be opening medicine up to quacks, much as it was 150 years ago.

    I dislike the idea of bureaucrats regulating medicine, but how would the layman consumer know who to hire without some minimal licensing?

    And, yes, I do understand that bureaucrats are expert at "growing" minimal!


    1. Think about this: we don't have licensing because the average man on the street thought his doctor was a quack. There are no records of people protesting in front of the county courthouse because they didn't feel safe because their doctor didn't have a piece of paper from the government. And those same "quacks" who were in practice before licensing was instituted were the same ones practicing after it was.
      What do you think happened? Did great physicians suddenly appear out of the ground when licensing came about? And would all of the practitioners now suddenly disappear without licensing?
      Please try to think before you speak.

    2. One more thing: If you think that the licensing regime protects you from impaired physicians, think again. I know of three surgeons at my old hospital who are currently on psychiatric medications for things other than depression, and none of this is known to the public. If someone were to go public with the information, they could be subject to various lawsuits for their attempt to protect people. The system of licensing is not there to protect you. In the final analysis is more akin to a labor union keeping slouches on the job while doing nothing to reward outstanding efforts and achievements. It ends up being a leveling process.

  5. Thanks - I asked because I was, indeed, thinking.

    In these matters it is good to be able to ask a trusted insider such as yourself.

    Still thinking: do we laypersons then rely on a Diploma from a respected Medical school & perhaps some sort certificate of successful residency from a respected hospital - or ads, or word of mouth?

    It would seem, since it is our health, and one life per customer, that some sort of non-governmental assurance should be available - just wondering what your thought on that is.