In the New York TimesKing George

President Bush has signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules and policy statements that the government develops to protect public health, safety, the environment, civil rights and privacy.

In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries. The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president?s priorities.

This strengthens the hand of the White House in shaping rules that have, in the past, often been generated by civil servants and scientific experts. It suggests that the administration still has ways to exert its power after the takeover of Congress by the Democrats.

So, other than the obvious benefit of politicizing policy decisions, why might he want to do this?

The White House said the executive order was not meant to rein in any one agency. But business executives and consumer advocates said the administration was particularly concerned about rules and guidance issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Business groups welcomed the executive order, saying it had the potential to reduce what they saw as the burden of federal regulations. This burden is of great concern to many groups, including small businesses, that have given strong political and financial backing to Mr. Bush

Ah yes. Those pesky burdensome federal regulations, designed to protect the people from the side effects of pursuing excessive profit margins. You say putting lead back in paint will help you make a few extra pennies? What were we ever thinking regulating the lead content of paint!?!?

Remember, our government is supposed to be one of the people, by the people, and for the people. Not for corporations.

(HT to our friends in A-Town, The Chief Source.)

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