Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

OIRA

I had always thought that the benefit-cost ratio from flame-retardant pajamas was high. The fact that Susan Dudley sees this as an example of government overreach.... As someone who believes in getting the benefit-cost analysis right, I find this... disturbing.

Joshua Micah Marshall writes:

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: July 30, 2006 - August 05, 2006 Archives: White House nominates Susan Dudley to be OMB regulation czar. Last year she came out against fire-retardant kids pajamas. Bemoaning the dire burden of regulations last year on Jim Glassman's astroturf site TCSDaily.com, she wrote...

We also pay the price as consumers. From the moment we wake up in the morning -- flushing the toilet twice, courtesy of the Department of Energy's appliance standards -- to the time we put our children in their Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved pajamas, regulations not only increase the cost of goods and services we buy, but also the choices we can make.

The heavy hand of government stomping down on kid frying. Enough to make you a Hayek disciple after all.

As an expectant father I certainly hope that the government will stay out of our decisions about whether to put our child to bed in flammable pajamas.

And Vineyard Views reports:

Vineyard Views: The Fox and the Chicken Coop: This week Bush... nominated Susan Dudley to be the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.... [S]he... feels that fatigue in truck drivers who do not rest has not been systematically proven to contribute to highway deaths.... She does not feel that we are entitled to information about the effect of some chemicals, "Even if we determine that information on the release of certain chemicals has a net social value, we cannot assume that more frequently reported information, or information on a broader range of chemicals would be more valuable"...

This kind of stuff--in a manner analogous to the b.s. perpetrated by Dan Quayle's "Council on Competitiveness" in the Bush I administration--degrades the power of the analytical tools we have to make government be the right size and do the right things. It makes it harder for people like me to argue that OIRA has an important role to play.

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