While Obama is king when it comes to the nanny state, the study also shows that pretty much every other recent president saw the accumulation of more regulations. This is just the nature of the two-party system. According to Mercatus:
Every term shows a visible increase in the total number of regulatory restrictions, except for Reagan’s second term, which shows a flat trend. Across no president’s term did the total number of regulatory restrictions actually decline. The cumulative effect of these increases by successive presidents is a near-doubling of total regulatory restrictions, from about 580,000 when President Carter took office to about 1,070,000 in 2014.
Which presidents contributed most to the accumulation of restrictions? The second chart shows the absolute increase of regulatory restrictions in each presidential term.
President Obama not only oversaw the greatest increase in regulatory restrictions in a single term, his first, but as of 2014 he has edged past President George W. Bush as the president with the greatest total increase in restrictions since 1976. Presidents Carter and George H. W. Bush both had increases of more than 70,000 in their first terms, but both lost their reelection bids. Interestingly, while Presidents George W. Bush and Clinton both added regulations at similar rates across their two terms—with Clinton adding significantly fewer restrictions overall compared to Bush—President Reagan oversaw a large increase in regulation during his first term, but a relatively small increase during his second term.
This study is very revealing. It proved the suspicions that Obama was the most invasive president over, but it also showed that the other presidents aren't to far behind. Perhaps the problem of statism doesn't just stop with the current president, but it's an institutional problem that will apply to just about any president until we fix it.