Destroying Jobs, One Rule at a Time
“[T]oday I am directing federal agencies to do more to account for—and reduce—the burdens regulations may place on small businesses. Small firms drive growth and create most new jobs in this country. We need to make sure nothing stands in their way.” —President Obama, Wall Street Journal op-ed, January 18, 2011
Thirty years ago an entrepreneur who grew up in a tenement in Newark, New Jersey took his thriving three-year-old business public. Today that company is #30 on the Fortune 500 list with more than $68 billion in revenues, 2,200 stores, and more than 320,000 employees. The following is an excerpt from a recent Investor’s Business Daily interview with Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot:
IBD: What's the single biggest impediment to job growth today?
Marcus: The U.S. government. Having built a small business into a big one, I can tell you that today the impediments that the government imposes are impossible to deal with. Home Depot would never have succeeded if we'd tried to start it today. Every day you see rules and regulations from a group of Washington bureaucrats who know nothing about running a business. And I mean every day. It's become stifling.
If you're a small businessman, the only way to deal with it is to work harder, put in more hours, and let people go. When you consider that something like 70% of the American people work for small businesses, you are talking about a big economic impact.
IBD: President Obama has promised to streamline and eliminate regulations. What's your take?
Marcus: His speeches are wonderful. His output is absolutely, incredibly bad. As he speaks about cutting out regulations, they are now producing thousands of pages of new ones. With just ObamaCare by itself, you have a 2,000 page bill that's probably going to end up being 150,000 pages of regulations.
Spoken like someone who knows of what he speaks. Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s regulatory mania is making it impossible for today’s entrepreneurs to achieve success on the scale of Home Depot, precluding the job creation and economic development that would follow.
What are House Republicans doing?
The House passed H.Res. 72 on February 11, 2011, a resolution that would direct ten standing committees to inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed government regulations by agencies within their jurisdiction.
Some members are pursuing additional steps. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) has introduced legislation, H.R. 373, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2011, which is intended to ensure actions taken by regulatory agencies are subject to the scrutiny of the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA). The bill would expand the scope of cost estimates (currently limited to direct expenditures) to include consideration of indirect costs (e.g. lost revenue and secondary monetary costs) imposed by new legislation and/or regulation, and it would remove the exception for mandates issued by independent regulatory agencies.
Click here for more on the House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators.