Here’s a different interpretation from that of the New York Times on Sunday
Mr Obama, the paper correctly points out, “imposed billions of dollars in new costs on businesses and consumers and “inserted the United States government more deeply into American life.”
[W]hat the Times calls his regulatory strategy would better be described as unbridled rent seeking.
That’s the term economists use for exercising government power to create private gains for political purposes. Consider:
Mr. Obama’s bank policy dramatically consolidated the banking industry, which the government routinely sues for billions of dollars, with the proceeds partly distributed to Democratic activist groups.
His consumer-finance agency manufactured fake evidence of racism against wholesale auto lenders in order to facilitate a billion-dollar shakedown.
His airline policy, urged by labor unions, led to a major-carrier oligopoly, with rising fares and profits.
His FDA is seeking to extinguish small e-cigarette makers for the benefit of Big Tobacco and Big Pharma (whose smoking-cessation franchise is threatened by cheap and relatively safe electronic cigarettes).
His National Labor Relations Board, by undermining the power of independent franchisees, is working to cartelize the fast-food industry for the benefit of organized labor.
We could go on. Mr. Obama’s own Council of Economic Advisers complains about the increasing cartelization of the U.S. economy—as if this were not a natural output of regulation. In a much-noted Harvard Business Review piece this spring, James Bessen, an economist, lawyer and software entrepreneur, cites increased “political rent seeking” to explain the puzzle of rising corporate profits in the absence of job creation and economic growth.