Issues & Insights

Biden Unleashes The Regulatory Kraken — And There’s No Land In Sight

In the span of a few weeks, the Biden administration has proposed regulations that would effectively ban gas stoves, force a massive shift to electric cars, sharply raise the cost of dishwashers, increase loan costs for frugal borrowers, regulate puddles as “navigable waters,” and limit hunting and fishing across the country. It will soon release a proposed rule targeting power plants with hugely expensive carbon capture mandates.

This is just the tip of the spear.

As the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Clyde Wayne Crews put it recently, “President Biden is leading an unprecedented expansion of the administrative state. In two years, his administration has imposed 517 regulatory actions with some $318 billion in total costs.”

The newest attack on freedom, Biden’s dishwasher regulation, would require new machines to use 27% less power and 34% less water, making already barely functioning dishwashers virtually useless. (It takes nearly three hours for dishwashers today to “clean” dishes. President Donald Trump tried to loosen these anti-consumer mandates.)

Another rule would eliminate 98% of all top-loading washing machines on the market today. There are new efficiency mandates in the works for everything from microwaves to toothbrush chargers.

“The effort is forcing manufacturers to produce more costly products they say reverse innovation by decades and potentially eliminate thousands of U.S. jobs,” the Washington Times reports.

The Securities Exchange Commission, meanwhile, wants publicly traded companies to disclose the “climate risks” of their operations. The rule “could shift $18.4 billion to consulting firms, lawyers, and data providers,” according to an analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence.

Keep in mind that the cost of these new regulations will get added to the existing pile that already imposes a mind-boggling $2 trillion in compliance costs — an amount roughly equal to Canada’s entire GDP.

Biden says he’s “advancing an ambitious regulatory agenda to protect public health and secure environmental justice.” A more accurate description would be he’s “advancing a tyrannical state that is crippling the economy and denying Americans basic freedoms.”

Anyone who is surprised by this hasn’t been paying attention.

On Biden’s first day in office, he signed an executive order called “Modernizing Regulatory Review” turning a process that had once served as a modest break on regulators into “a tool to affirmatively promote regulations.”

We pointed out in this space back in January 2021 that “with this one executive order, Biden shows that he’s intent on giving regulators carte blanche to impose massive new rules on businesses and households, on virtually anything and everything they do, regardless of costs. There’s little else Biden has done so far that will have as wide-ranging an impact.” (See Biden’s Worst Executive Order Went Almost Entirely Unnoticed.)

That order went into effect last month. Among other things, it guts the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which in previous administrations could put a hold on regulations if it decided the benefits of a rule didn’t merit the costs.

In a letter to the Biden administration, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and Rep. Pat Fallon wrote that “Even under pre-existing rules for federal regulatory development, the Biden administration’s pace of regulation and escalating regulatory burdens has been breathtaking.” 

Comer told National Review that Biden is “taking action to upend the regulatory review and analysis process and further open regulatory floodgates to serve their own progressive wish lists.”

The Kraken is truly unleashed.

There is a deeper problem here that must be confronted. Namely, the fact that the Kraken exists at all.

For decades, Congress has handed over virtually unlimited power to regulatory agencies to dictate our lives. Republicans have in the past acted like Jack Sparrow, who thought his jar of dirt could keep the Kraken at bay. They’ve counted n the courts or a business-friendly administration would stave off the beast. But the courts give regulatory agencies a wide berth, and as we’ve just seen, the dent made in regulations by Trump has had no impact on the regulatory beast. 

No more. Without a more permanent legislative solution, we always will be at the mercy of the ravenous regulatory state. The Kraken must be destroyed once and for all, if we are ever to live free.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • The international left owns the administration, Hollywood, media, education, big tech. We are a banana republic without the tropical fruit. No need for a legislature we can rule by fiat just like King George!

  • I had hoped that sanity, intelligence and some wisdom might enter Biden’s administration when Ron Klain left, but it gets worse every day.
    Please name the people behind Biden who are making a mess of our country; Biden, as common as a sidewalk, is not smart enough to make such a mess on his own, in spite of what Obama said about Biden’s’ consistent ability to make a hash of everything.
    Who are the new “Ron Klains” helping Biden make such a mess? Names please!

  • Ah… In other words you don’t want to hear how angry we are, you want a civil conversation that does nothing to change the criminal ways or our president. Also we don’t care if you don’t post this because it was meant to read by you not the readers of your column. This is exactly what a left leaning organization would try and pull, so it looks like your have sold your soul to the DemonRat agenda. In lieu of that I won’t be back because you act like I. D. I. O. T. S. !

    • Our apologies, but we published your comment. Should we delete it? Please advise.

  • I use an “efficient” washer and dryer where I live overseas. It takes 5 hours to wash and dry a load of clothes, minimum! Further, It’s not a full load of clothes. It’s about 1/3 the amount of clothes a normal American washer and dryer can handle. If you “overload” the washer or dryer even slightly, you’re in for expensive repair bills. These are very delicate machines.

  • Why doesn’t anyone know that none of this is Constitutional? There is no enumerated power that grants this authority. Only someone guilty of sedition could interpret the Commerce Clause to allow this overreach. WAKE UP! Push back and challenge this crap in the courts!

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