April 2, 1992 PRESIDENT BUSH ON REGULATORY REFORM +quot;I won't neglect my responsibility

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April 2, 1992 PRESIDENT BUSH ON REGULATORY REFORM "I won't neglect my responsibility for sound regulations that serve the public good, but regulatory overkill must be stopped." -- President George Bush State of the Union Address January 28, 1992 o President Bush has made the reduction of burdensome regulation a priority in spurring economic growth. The President has taken significant steps to ease the stranglehold of unnecessary regulation. Excessive regulation, no matter how well-intentioned, stifles economic growth and inhibits job creation. o The extent of federal regulation is striking: federal regulations filled over 33,000 pages last year, with over 7,000 regulations issued. All told, the cost of complying with federal regulations is estimated to be between $300 billion and $500 billion each year. Last year, Americans spent 5.2 billion hours filling out government forms. o The President believes that reducing unnecessary regulation will give Americans more control over their lives -- the power to make the best economic and personal decisions for themselves and their families and businesses. o At the President's direction, the Administration is undertaking a number of regulatory relief measures that will improve Americans' quality of life and remove unnecessary costs on business, including: -- Streamlining the FDA approval process for new drugs, and removing barriers so that terminally-ill patients can receive new, potentially life-saving drugs, that have not yet been approved for general use; -- Reforming regulation of biotechnology companies to allow more rapid approval of safe new biotech products; -- Reducing administrative costs for small businesses; -- Giving contractors greater flexibility in manning construction projects; -- Using innovative market mechanisms to reduce the costs to the economy of complying with strict Clean Air Act standards -- without sacrificing environmental goals; and -- Minimizing regulatory burdens for farmers and food processors. o Under the Vice President's leadership, the President's Council on Competitiveness is assisting federal agencies in reducing regulatory barriers that hamper the growth of American industries, especially those involved in high technology. In many cases burdensome regulations inhibit necessary growth and investment. Removing these barriers will mean more jobs and enhanced American competitiveness. The Problem of Over-regulation o When government regulates with a heavy hand, businesses, especially small businesses so vital to job creation, are forced to compromise productivity and efficiency and suffer increased costs. Consumers end up paying a hidden tax because, inevitably, the added costs of government regulation are passed on to them in the form of higher prices for products and services. As the President has explained, "From the tab on a bag of groceries at the checkout line to the sticker price on the showroom floor -- every American takes a hit when the government over- regulates." o When American businesses suffer the burdens of costly red tape, they become less competitive at home and throughout the world. Government red tape delays the introduction of products made possible by American know-how. Delayed by cumbersome government approval processes, these products become more expensive and less competitive when they finally enter the marketplace. As a result, economic growth suffers, wages are depressed, jobs are lost, and valuable products and services are denied American consumers. The President's Program for Regulatory Relief o President Bush is no newcomer to the issue of excessive government regulation. As a businessman, he experienced its impact; as Vice President, he began a sustained, decade-long effort to reverse the extensive regulatory trend. As head of the President's Task Force on Regulatory Relief, then- Vice President Bush spearheaded efforts to reform regulation of financial services -- reforms Congress still refuses to enact -- that would have eased the cost of raising capital, and improved the competitiveness of American financial markets. Efforts by the Task Force on Regulatory Relief are estimated to have saved over $150 billion that otherwise would have been spent in complying with needless regulations. o As President, George Bush has continued to fight against the stifling effects of heavy-handed bureaucracy. The President believes that regulators must be sensitive to how their regulations affect economic growth and job creation. Despite pressure from affected businesses and consumers, the Democratic Congress refuses to ease burdensome regulation by passing the President's proposals. Nevertheless, the President has used his executive authority to devise and implement necessary reforms: -- In his State of the Union Address, the President announced a 90-day moratorium on new regulations to review the impact of existing and proposed rules on job creation and economic growth. -- Agencies are to accelerate initiatives that could promote growth and create jobs. -- Agencies are to review carefully their regulations to ensure their benefits to society clearly outweigh their costs. -- Agencies are to use performance standards to the fullest extent possible, rather than command-and- control requirements. -- Agencies are to ensure their regulations are crafted to provide clear and certain guidance to regulated firms, and to avoid needless litigation. Regulatory Relief: Improving Americans' Quality of Life o The Bush Administration's regulatory relief program is helping to improve Americans' quality of life, by promoting innovative products for consumers and treatments for terminally-ill patients: -- To expedite the process of bringing vital and possibly life-saving drugs to market, the Food and Drug Administration will cut needless red tape and streamline the government drug approval process. Accelerating this process offers hope to all Americans with serious or life-threatening diseases for which there is no effective alternative therapy. -- To harness America's great ingenuity and the enormous potential of advanced science, the President has proposed new plans to promote the development and commercialization of biotechnology products. As the President explained, "this is a $4 billion industry and it should grow to $50 billion by the end of the decade if we let it." The President's deregulatory efforts will help secure American leadership in this vital industry of the future. -- The Administration has developed a plan to help remove old cars -- the biggest polluters and the biggest gas guzzlers --from the road. This "Cash-for-Clunkers" program will help businesses meet the tough standards of the Clean Air Act at less cost, without sacrificing either the environment or economic growth. Regulatory Reform: Spurring Economic Growth o The Bush Administration's regulatory relief program is spurring economic growth by removing unnecessarily costly regulations, promoting underdeveloped industries, and improving business' access to capital: -- Recognizing the vital role of small businesses in the domestic economy, the Administration is reducing the burdens of the payroll tax system, simplifying reporting and payment procedures, and offering clearer guidance and assistance to employers. -- To further enhance the ability of small businesses to raise needed capital, the Securities and Exchange Commission is simplifying needlessly complex registration requirements and increasing the maximum size for public stock offerings under the streamlined procedures of SEC Regulation A from $1.5 million to $5 million. -- In the energy area, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and EPA are making natural gas more accessible and less costly to consumers and American industry. Cheaper and more widespread use of clean- burning natural gas will lower energy costs, improve the environment and reduce dependence on foreign oil. -- To reduce the costs of transporting goods, the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Federal Maritime Commission are easing several regulatory burdens on the trucking, rail and other shipping industries, ultimately lowering costs to businesses and consumers. -- To improve access to credit and capital, the Administration is adopting rules that would strengthen banks by allowing them to operate across state lines. This will make more credit available to spur new home construction. -- The Department of Labor has given contractors greater flexibility in staff construction projects. That means lower construction costs to businesses and more entry- level jobs in building trades. -- The Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency have taken several steps to help farmers produce and market their products at less cost. Among other things, the Administration is relaxing restrictions on pesticides as soon as scientific evidence shows them to be safe, and is modifying overly stringent labelling requirements. Regulatory Reform: Making Government More Responsive o Bush Administration regulatory reforms are also making government more responsive to Americans' needs and wants, streamlining the way government works and stopping unnecessary government intrusions into Americans' lives: -- The President has proposed sweeping reform of the civil justice system, proposing to ease the enormous costs and burdens of litigation in the federal courts. This initiative, by lowering litigation costs (the "lawyers tax") and adopting rules that discourage frivolous lawsuits, will also improve access to the legal system for those with legitimate claims. Summary o Through these efforts, the President has demonstrated a broad commitment to making government an ally instead of an adversary to the cause of American competitiveness. By cutting back on needless red tape and accelerating initiatives that promote jobs and economic growth, the President is making sure that government regulations serve their intended role, and do not become a means of imposing unnecessary burdens and government control.


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