Washington Post columnist Cindy Skrzycki, who writes “The Regulators” feature, does a balanced job today of examining the controversy — we’d call it ginned-up outrage — over Susan E. Dudley, President Bush’s nominee to head the OMB’s regulatory review shop, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. (Previous post here.) Key excerpt from the column:
Business supporters say Dudley, director of regulatory studies at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, is experienced, analytical and dispassionate in expressing her belief that the market will correct most problems and that rules should be subject to a tough cost-benefit test. Public interest groups fighting the nomination say those writings disqualify her for the job.
How odd, that a history of writing should be disqualifying because it represents an analytical, skeptical view of regulation, with a focus on cost-benefit analysis.
Well, not odd when you consider that Dudley’s opponents reside among the advocates of intrusive, expansive, expensive, one-size-fits-all government at Public Citizen and OMB Watch (to whom Dudley is nothing more than a “featured campaign.”) Yes, as difficult as it may be for the average American to believe, there are those misguided, true-believing, Beltway denizens who not only defend the ability of federal agencies to implement and enforce inefficient and unworkable regulations, but who also viciously attack anyone or any organization who dares suggest agencies should follow rational procedures and might benefit from oversight to make sure they do not run amok.
Thomas Sullivan, chief counsel in the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, calls Dudley “rock solid.” Sounds right to us.