Obama’s reluctant deregulation, cont’d

Last week the White House announced with some fanfare the results of federal agencies’ review of their operations to find outdated or unneeded regulations. At Cato at Liberty, I explain why many regulation-watchers are underwhelmed by the results. Mark Steyn at National Review is much funnier on the same topic, including EPA’s very belated recognition that dairy spills on farms are not actually “oil” spills, and also see his postscript on the lengths to which federal inspectors will go to catch out unlicensed use of rabbits in magic shows.

P.S. Much more from Richard Epstein at Hoover “Defining Ideas” (“Reform? What Reform?”).


  • Every magician I know that does dove or rabbit acts for children takes extremely good care of these animals. They invest a lot of time training them, and they’re always treated as members of the family so they can respond well to handling, being pet by kids, etc. I can’t imagine what problem “licensing” would solve. These are basically pets.

  • What “licensing” does is eliminate a stalling tactic (i.e. accuse the regulator of racist bigotry and file a disparate-impact claim).

    If the regulator can point to Objective Official Viewpoint-Neutral Regulatory Requirements, then they can just shut you down. If, instead, it’s up to the regulator’s judgement whether you were taking care of your animals, well, have fun in court!