We don't know if President Barack Obama has ever heard the warning about "putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop," but he seems to be doing just that.
Last year, Obama signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to identify rules that place unreasonable burdens on business.
"It's a review that will help bring order to regulations that have become a patchwork of overlapping rules, the result of tinkering by administrations and legislators of both parties and the influence of special interest in Washington over decades," Obama wrote in an opinion column that was published with some fanfare at the time in The Wall Street Journal.
Well, yes. There is a problem with burdensome, unncessary regulations. But each and every one of them adds to the power, cost and payroll of federal agencies. Expecting bureaucrats to be honest in identifying ways of reducing the burden is a bit like trusting a fox to go on a no-chicken diet.
In contrast, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., asked businesses and trade groups to identify burdensome regulations. We hope Obama pays more attention to Issa's study than to the response from federal agencies.