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March 20, 2014

They Even Regulate Transparency

Barack Obama has far surpassed his predecessors when it comes to regulation, and he’s not transparent about it.

According to a report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Barack Obama has far surpassed his predecessors when it comes to regulation. Under Obama, the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which is the “codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register,” has expanded by some 17,522 pages – an 11% increase. That’s an average of 3,504 pages every year – and he still has three long years left in office.

Those regulations have cost the economy billions of dollars, heaping on additional burdens and making the Obama “recovery” historically sluggish. The president remains stubbornly determined to use his pen whenever Congress doesn’t conform to his will. It’s all part of his effort to “fundamentally transform” America, and he’ll do it regulation by regulation.

At the same time, Obama and his red tape bandits have for years declared this White House the “most transparent in history.” We’re shocked – shocked – to report that this claim just isn’t true. A new report from Cause of Action, a watchdog group, says that in 2009, Barack Obama basically rewrote the Freedom of Information Act, and, oddly enough, he did so to limit the freedom of information.

As Cause of Action explains in the report, “FOIA is designed to inform the public on government behavior; White House equities allow the government to withhold information from the media, and therefore the public, by having media requests forwarded for review. This not only politicizes federal agencies, it impairs fundamental First Amendment liberties.”

With an administration that’s cranking out regulations left and further left, transparency is sometimes the only warning. And the “White House equities” exemption frees the administration of uncomfortable news within the 20 days otherwise required by FOIA. Cause of Action notes that it’s “still waiting for documents from 16 federal agencies, with the Department of Treasury having the longest pending request of 202 business days. The Department of Energy is a close second at 169 business days. The requests to the Department of Defense and Department of Health and Human Services have been pending for 138 business days.” A lot of damage can happen in the interim, and the White House can now take as long as it wants.

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