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Cass R. Sunstein

Here's How to Fix All That Federal Regulation

Elizabeth Warren doesn't have all the answers, but she makes a good start.
Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Many conservatives contend that federal regulators have been running wild, especially under President Barack Obama. Objecting to “job-killing regulations,” they offer concrete proposals for reform: more cost-benefit analysis, elimination of unjustified mandates, and explicit congressional approval of expensive rules. (Disclosure: From 2009 to 2012, I served as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, whose approval is required for most federal regulations.)

By contrast, progressives have been pretty quiet. That changed recently, when Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered an important but widely overlooked speech last month, one offering an unmistakably progressive vision of regulatory reform. Warren sees the problem as one of capture by regulated interests, not overreach by regulation-happy bureaucrats.