What Does It Mean to Put a Limit on the Cost of Regulations?

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Tuesday, 28 August 2012 04:37

A NYT article on Governor Romney's approach to the economy discussed his attitude toward regulation. It tells readers that Romney:

"stopped talking about the benefits of regulation, focusing instead on its costs. His campaign platform includes proposals to curtail rule making, like capping the total cost of regulation at the current level, without adjusting for inflation."

What does a limit on the cost of regulation mean? Suppose that I have more oil than Saudi Arabia underneath my backyard, but recovering it requires an incredibly hazardous chemical that will cause the death of everyone in a 10-mile radius. (I live within DC, that's a lot of people.)

Does Governor Romney give me the green light to wipe out the DC metro area because the regulation prohibiting drilling would be very costly? That would seem to be the implication of an approach to regulation that only looks at the cost.

This would be an absurd approach to regulation. If that is really what Romney is proposing then the NYT should feature a front page article on his crazy views on regulation. Voters should be made aware of how wildly out of line Romney is with current practices.

Alternatively, if this is not what Romney is saying, then the NYT should get his approach to regulation right.