With Cass Sunstein's confirmation hearing for "regulatory czar" set for today, CPR Member Scholars Catherine O'Neill and Amy Sinden have an op-ed on the subject in this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer -- "The cost-benefit dodge." They write:
Beginning in the Reagan administration, any regulation with a significant impact has had to pass through Information and Regulatory Affairs' doors for approval. The office's role, frankly, has been to water down health, safety, and environmental regulations - if not drown them entirely.
Once confirmed, Cass Sunstein will face a choice: rely on cost-benefit analysis with the zeal his past writings suggest he would, modify the process in the hope that it can somehow be mended, or abandon it in favor of a better method. The decision he makes will have profound consequences.
Let's hope we find out what his choice will be during his confirmation hearing. And let's hope he chooses wisely.