—President Obama, Wall Street Journal op-ed, January 18, 2011
The President’s policies have failed and are making the economy worse. Because the President cannot stand on his record, he has regrettably turned to the politics of envy and division. House Republicans have a Plan for America’s Job Creators—it’s time for the President and Senate Democrats to stop blocking our bipartisan jobs bills.
President Obama and Senate Democrats have been quick to dismiss Republicans’ solutions to out-of-control regulations, such as the REINS Act, which would increase accountability for and transparency in the federal regulatory process. Often their excuse is: no such problem exists.
But Democrats should have a harder time denying the argument that too much regulation hurts job creators when it’s articulated by an actual job creator, as was the case at a hearing held last week by the Committee on Small Business.
Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) and committee members heard testimony from, among others, Heath Hall, the President and Co-founder of Pork Barrel BBQ, a fast-growing, three-year-old company that recently created 40 new jobs with the opening of its restaurant in Alexandria, VA. In the hearing, Mr. Hall told his company’s story and offered the following insights:
It is important to note here that every extra regulation, requirement, or delay that government imposes is a burden that new small businesses have to overcome. These burdens cost entrepreneurs time and money and often lead to many small businesses prematurely calling it quits, opting to create fewer jobs and slowing innovation. I’m not saying that none of the regulations were necessary or justified. They often were, but I do want the Committee to understand that they come at a cost in time and money which small businesses must pay and which cannot be used to grow a company and create jobs.
…The problem in my view is that there is no effective safeguard in the system to make sure that regulations are written and enforced in a way that minimizes the burden on honest, well-intentioned small business entrepreneur. One approach I would encourage the Committee to look into would be for the government to adopt a partnership approach to regulation whenever possible. Allow entrepreneurs and their businesses to show that they want, in good faith, to comply and cooperate. In these cases it seems far more productive and less costly to all parties to partner with these business rather than adopting an adversarial attitude that leads to costly fines for mistakes that were made in good faith and that had no impact on public health and safety. Small businesses like ours do often feel like the government has a “gotcha” attitude towards our efforts, lying in wait to penalize us for paperwork violations or other errors that really have no relationship to the important goals regulations are meant to advance.
Obviously there is a disconnect between the President’s rhetoric on regulations, the unelected bureaucrats who continue to write rules, Democrats in Congress who favor more government intrusion into the private sector, and, unfortunately, the entrepreneurs on the front lines of the economy.