“Regulations do have costs; often, as a country, we have to make tough decisions about whether those costs are necessary.”
—President Obama, Wall Street Journal op-ed, January 18, 2011
When President Obama says that he knows how to create jobs, he may be right in a narrow sense. With the federal takeover of health insurance, the massive financial reforms of Dodd-Frank, and the EPA’s attempt to implement the legislatively-defeated cap-and-tax program, abundant jobs have definitely been created for one sector: federal regulators. An op-ed in Investor’s Business Daily last week noted:
If the federal government's regulatory operation were a business, it would be one of the 50 biggest in the country in terms of revenues, and the third largest in terms of employees, with more people working for it than McDonald's, Ford, Disney and Boeing combined…
Regulatory agencies have seen their combined budgets grow a healthy 16% since 2008, topping $54 billion, according to the annual "Regulator's Budget," compiled by George Washington University and Washington University in St. Louis.
That's at a time when the overall economy grew a paltry 5%.
Meanwhile, employment at these agencies has climbed 13% since Obama took office to more than 281,000, while private-sector jobs shrank by 5.6%.
Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute, found that between March 2010 and March 2011 federal regulatory jobs climbed faster than either private jobs or overall government jobs.
By expanding the size and scope of government the Administration’s regulatory tsunami is washing away any hope of an economic recovery. The dearth of private sector job creation is supported by data from the Small Business Administration showing small firms—historically responsible for about seven out of 10 net new jobs—suffer disproportionately from regulatory burdens, paying 45 percent more than large companies in annual compliance costs.
What are House Republicans doing?
House Republicans are in their districts this month discussing the House GOP plan for job creation with the American people. This plan includes commitments such as passing the three pending free trade agreements to open new markets for American made goods and reforming the inefficient tax code to restore American competitiveness and attract businesses.