.Idministration of Lyndon Johnson thatnihe regulatory explosion took place.nPropelled by a desire to utilize the powern»f government to create a “(keat Society,”nJohnson and his successors establishedndozens of new regulatory authorities,nand vastly expanded thenpowers and budgets of those that existed.nAs a result, the tenacles of thenFederal government reached into areasnthey never had before, the costs ofnregulatory compliance soared to overnSI00 billion annually, and consumernchoices were limited as bureaucraciesnlather than individuals made crucialndecisions regarding safety, qualit}’, andnleliability.nWhen Ronald Reagan took office inn1980, he pledged to reverse the trendntowards the regulation of Americannsociety. Specifically, he promised to “getngovernment off our backs and out of ournpockets.” Has he succeeded? An objectivenobserver might conclude that thenso-called “Reagan revolution” wasnsomewhat less than a total shake-up innthe regulatory area. While the rate ofnregulatory grovvth has been considerablynslowed, there are, in fact, more rulesnon the books now than there were whennReagan took office. And while somenagency budgets have been cut, virtuallynaU remain in business with their missionsnintact; even the Departments of Educationnand Energy, which were supposednto be abolished, still exist three yearsninto the supposed turnover. If this is anrevolution, it’s been an awfully quietnone.nNot so to the Tolchins, twonWashington-based political commentators.nAccording to their analysis, thentumult is all around. They claim thatn”deregulation is a code word for dismantlingnthe regulatory process.” Andnthat’s bad, for, in the words of the latenJerry Wurf, chief of the Federation ofnState, Counter’ and Municipal Employees,n”regulation is the key to a civilizednsociety.”nAs the Tolchins see it, our world is angrim and dangerous landscape popu­nlated by irresponsible private industriesnthat have “the power to alter our genes,ninvade our privacy and destroy ournenvironment… .Only government [can]nprotect citizens from the awesome consequencesnof technology’ run amuck,”nAnd, apparently, from the results of theirnown choices. Fear is the author’s constantnrefrain: if there isn’t a furthernexpansion of regulations, then disastersnon an unprecedented scale wiU occur.nLike the proponents of the nuclearnfreeze, who also shamelessly pander tonpeople’s fears, the Tolchins are typical ofntoday’s liberals. Where once, undernRoosevelt, liberalism forwarded anntimi’t’ iimi I ‘««^i«l • lUiiliii’nAHHA MycEK-wo;3£ci