The New Regulatory State
An America’s Founding and Future Lecture
Christopher DeMuth, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute; former President, American Enterprise Institute
Today’s regulatory policy debates—concerning EPA greenhouse gas rules, ObamaCare, the light-bulb ban, and much else—have a strong partisan cast. But the growth of regulation is primarily an institutional phenomenon, not a partisan or ideological one (since the New Deal, regulatory growth has been most pronounced during the administrations of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush). In essence, regulation is the accumulation of policy-making power in the Executive Branch at the expense of the Congress. That trend has accelerated over the past decade: the political advantages of direct Executive action are growing dramatically. Current regulatory reform proposals are of constitutional dimension, and illustrate the profound dilemmas of “post-Madisonian government.”
Christopher DeMuth is a distinguished fellow at the Hudson Institute. He was president of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research from 1986–2008 and D.C. Searle Senior Fellow at AEI from 2008–2011. Previously he was managing director of Lexecon Inc., a law-and-economics consulting firm (1984–1986); publisher and editor-in-chief of Regulation magazine; administrator for information and regulatory affairs in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief (1981–1984); and lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and director of the Harvard Faculty Project on Regulation. Mr. DeMuth is a graduate of Harvard College (1968) and the University of Chicago Law School (1973). His writings are posted at www.christopherdemuth.com.