Obama created regulations that will drain $2 trillion from economy
President Barack Obama smiles while talking on the phone in the Oval Office, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Obama administration issued both a record, and completely staggering number of new regulations on its way out the door in 2016, leaving an administrative state that saps the economy of nearly $2 trillion a year, according to a new report being released Wednesday.

The government itself spent $63 billion in 2016 to administer and enforce all of its own regulations, the Competitive Enterprise Institute said.

With Republicans in Washington looking for reasons to streamline Washington and roll back President Barack Obama’s accomplishments, the new report is likely to be ammunition.

“The federal government’s reach extends far beyond its taxes, deficits, and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations affect the economy by hundreds of billions — even trillions — of dollars annually,” Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. wrote in the CEI’s 2017 “Ten Thousand Commandments” report on federal regulations.

He counted 3,853 federal rules that were finalized in 2016 — the most for any year since 2005.

All told, during his time in office, Mr. Obama issued 685 “major” rules — generally defined as having an economic impact of at least $100 million — compared to 505 during President George W. Bush’s tenure, the CEI report said.

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