In today’s Investor’s Business Daily, Wayne Crews and I point out that the higher deficits go, the more tempting it becomes for Congress to resort to unfunded mandates:
For example,instead of funding a new federal job training program from federal coffers, Congress could mandate that all firms above a certain size provide such training at their own expense.
The first option appears on the federal budget; the second does not. For politicians, it’s the perfect scheme. The government can spend — or, rather, force others to spend — as much as it wants without adding to the deficit.
She has just re-introduced the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act to improve UMRA. It would require all agencies, not just some of them, to conduct UMRA analysis. And it would require these for all new final rules, not just some.
Foxx’s proposed reform would not curtail Congress’ power to regulate; it only requires increased disclosure as to how that power is exercised.
More needs to be done to end the abuse of unfunded mandates. But first, we need more transparency so the public can find out just how bad the problem is.