William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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AND NOW FOR THE NEXT ACT – AT 9:01 A.M. ET:  With great help from an obedient press, led by The New York Times, the Obama administration hid its second-term agenda during the election campaign.  In fact, no agenda was ever presented.  The presidential argument seemed to be, "Trust me because I'm me."  Kind of religious in nature, don't you think?

As we noted in the post just below, the truth about the costs of Obamacare are starting to come out, and even Dems are panicking.  But there are other goodies in the pipeline.  I guess we didn't get the memo during the campaign.  Gosh darn.  From AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- While the "fiscal cliff" of looming tax increases and spending cuts dominates political conversation in Washington, some Republicans and business groups see signs of a "regulatory cliff" that they say could be just as damaging to the economy.

For months, federal agencies and the White House have sidetracked dozens of major regulations that cover everything from power plant pollution to workplace safety to a crackdown on Wall Street.

The rules had been largely put on hold during the presidential campaign as the White House sought to quiet Republican charges that President Barack Obama was an overzealous regulator who is killing U.S. jobs.

But since the election, the Obama administration has quietly reopened the regulations pipeline.

In recent weeks, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed rules to update water quality guidelines for beaches and other recreational waters and deal with runoff from logging roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, meanwhile, has proposed long-delayed regulations requiring auto makers to include event data recorders - better known as "black boxes" - in all new cars and light trucks beginning in 2014.

The administration also has initiated several rules to implement its health care overhaul, including a new fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions.

Some GOP lawmakers fear the worst.

Obama has spent the past year "punting" on a slew of job-killing regulations that will be unleashed in a second term, said Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. With the election over, it's now "full speed ahead" for federal rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions, requiring cleaner gasoline and putting controls on drilling for oil and natural gas, said Inhofe, the senior Republican on the Senate Environment Committee.

"Under an Obama EPA that has earned a reputation for abuse, American families will be subjected to a regulatory onslaught that will drive up energy prices, destroy millions of jobs and further weaken the economy," he wrote in a 14-page report on expected EPA regulations for 2013. The report predicts an influx of regulations that "spell doom for jobs and economic growth."

COMMENT:  The American people are being treated like children.  But why not?  They acted like children when they went to the polls.

Now, some of the new regulations may have merit.  We are not automatically opposed to regulations here.   The Constitution requires Congress to regulate interstate commerce, and some regulations have improved society.  But this is a radical, rigid administration, and I fear, as many Republicans and Democrats do, that the zealots will destroy the economy in the name of the public good.

Stand by.  When people find out what's happening to their electric bills, those Dem numbers may plunge, and the Democrats may love Obama a lot less, at least in private.

December 13, 2012