President Obama's regulation-spewing administration on Wednesday set a new White House record for imposing rules: it holds the title for publishing the most Federal Register red tape ever, 545,857 pages.
In reaching page 78,648 today, Obama owns six of the seven highest Federal Register page totals since it first began publishing in 1936. Only former President George W. Bush reached a higher amount, 79,438 in 2008, but Obama has beaten that twice and nearly tied once.
What's more, Obama still has half a month to go and late December can be a big time of imposing new regulations. Clyde Wayne Crews, vice president of policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, predicts that Obama will break his personal best and world record of 81,405 pages.
"President Obama has no peer in Federal Register bloat, today setting records compared to both himself and all past presidents. Of the seven highest-ever annual page counts since the Federal Register first began in 1936, six of them belong to Obama as of today," Crews said in a report headlined, "Obama Cements Status as King of Regulatory Bloat."
Crews has been charting Obama's regulations, big and small, and expressed amazement at the administration's red tape output.
He concluded his report this way:
I've always maintained that you can't tell a whole lot about the regulatory burden from page counts alone, since onerous rules can be short, and minor rules might be long, and because the Federal Register can contain so much extraneous matter.
But the sheer magnitude of the Federal Register and the constant threat of the pen and phone seem to be changing things. There remains no corner of the economy or our personal lives on which the Federal government has not staked a claim either explicitly or via regulatory dark matter, so the heft of the Register is no longer something that can be shrugged off or ignored.
This president still has a year to go to set more records.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.