Archive for the 'Cost Benefit Analysis' Category



1110: Now It’s Your Turn

Last week, we talked about the shortcomings of the Commission’s proposed amendment to its Part 1110 rule on product certifications—hidden costs, confusion on bans and testing exemptions, recordkeeping disharmony, and questions not asked. Today, I issued my formal statement on the vote, which delves more deeply into the history of our first attempt at this rule and what we should have done this go-round.

That being said, I supported the broad outlines of this package. One key reason I voted to move ahead? I believe it’s high time we asked the public what to do about certificates. So now it’s your turn to let us know how we could improve this rule. Talk to me here, but more importantly, talk to the all of us at the Commission by submitting comments here.

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Talking Business

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking at the 13th Annual Legal Reform Summit, hosted by U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform. I discussed regulatory review, cost-benefit analysis, and how little of each is happening at the CPSC.

Given the organization’s long and illustrious history, naturally, I wasn’t the first public official to speak to a Chamber audience about the administrative state. Here’s what one visitor had to say about 18 months ago: “[I]f there are rules on the books that are needlessly stifling job creation and economic growth, we will fix them.”

That speaker was President Obama, outlining an executive order on regulatory review. The order tells agencies like the CPSC to look at our rules and shed whatever wasn’t working or necessary. It envisions a regulatory system that “promot[es] economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.” The order urges regulation “based on the best available science” that can “promote predictability and reduce uncertainty,” using “the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools,” and taking “into account benefits and costs.”

The CPSC has failed every aspect of that order. Key recent rules stifle growth and discourage innovation. They also stifle competition and slant the playing field toward the biggest businesses. About the only jobs they create are for lawyers.

Here’s hoping that, regardless of what happens November 6th, we’ll see a renewed effort from the White House to bring CPSC into compliance with prudent government. Here is an article about my presentation at this meeting.

Competing Realities

In Washington, unlike the rest of the nation, competing realities are what we live with every day.  As I was doing my daily reading, this came home to me in two articles. One is a report of the extraordinary number of new regulations coming out of the federal government.  In the other, a former Administration official touts the feds’ record in reducing the regulatory burdens imposed by Washington.  I wish to could say that reducing regulatory burden was important but here at the CPSC, that is rarely the case.  Gosh, we couldn’t even agree on how to design a plan to look at the issue, much less do it.  Here is a statement I recently posted about our failed attempt to do regulatory review.

Consider the Costs

Conversations about the proper size and role of government are always important but are especially so during a presidential election. One of the primary topics this year is regulation:  What are its successes? What are its failures? How do we measure both and what can we learn from both? Is cost part of the equation?

Of course, I believe we have to consider cost, and I wrote as much in a Letter to the Editor in the New York Times this week.

Too Far From the Flagpole?

The CPSC has continually ignored and otherwise shrugged off direction from the White House regarding good regulatory policy.  The questions I have: Are we standing so far from the flagpole that we cannot hear the bugle?  Or are we just marching to a different drummer?  Either way, IF the White House were really serious about regulatory reform, then the CPSC’s continual disregard of Presidential executive orders should be of concern.  That is a big IF—could it be that they are not serious?

Today, I wrote an op-ed about the CPSC’s repeated failures to take seriously the President’s regulatory reform directives.  As a result we are shirking our responsibility to write rules that minimize the burden on the economy and marketplace and, consequently, consumers pay the price. You can read the piece online at the Washington Times.


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