Democrats Defend Obama’s Record on Regulation

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2012 platform argues that the administration made regulations simpler, more open, and more flexible.

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The Democratic Party unveiled its 2012 platform earlier this week, defending President Obama’s record on reducing waste in government and weeding out unnecessary federal regulations.

In a section called “21st Century Government: Transparent and Accountable,” the platform describes the Obama Administration’s regulatory efforts as “common sense safeguards to protect American people” and announces the Party’s support for reforms that would make regulation simpler, more open, and more flexible.

The Party’s platform reaffirms belief in government’s role in ensuring that people do not “choose between their jobs and their safety;” however, it also concedes that “some regulations are outdated, unnecessary, or too costly.” To minimize the negative effects of such regulations, the Democratic platform states that “regulations should be based on sound science.”

The platform alludes to President Obama’s executive order that called for a multi-agency review of existing regulations to eliminate those that are not working. The platform also touts the Obama Administration’s efforts to reduce unnecessary regulations and save what it claims is over $10 billion over five years. Moreover, the platform claims that President Obama has issued fewer regulations than his Republican predecessors, though the validity of that claim has elsewhere been disputed.

In addition, the party platform calls for transparency in regulatory decision making. Claiming that the Obama Administration has achieved greater openness through the Open Government Initiative and the release of more information through, the platform argues that “government is more accountable when it is transparent” and that greater openness will lead to less agency capture by special interest groups and lobbyists.