“And finally, today 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 Barack Obama, Wall Street Journal op-ed, January 18, 2011
A Regulatory Cliff Ahead
President Obama’s failed fiscal policies are clearly threatening further job losses and another recession. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently projected the U.S. economy could contract by nearly 3.0 percent at an annual rate in the first half of 2013 as a result of the tax increases and sequestration cuts that are slated to take effect early next year; the pending fiscal cliff will cause the unemployment rate to increase to 9.1 percent by the end of 2013.
But as Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) pointed out in a recent op-ed, “we’re also headed for a steep ‘regulatory cliff’ that could compound the damage.” Referencing costly rules from the Labor Department and Environmental Protection Agency that have been purposely delayed to the more politically convenient calendar year 2013, the Senator noted, “After three years of bureaucratic excess, the Obama administration has been quietly postponing several multibillion-dollar regulations until after the November election. Those delayed rules, together with more than 130 unfinished mandates under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law, could significantly increase the regulatory drag on our economy in 2013.”
Regs in the News
EPA OVERREACH (AGAIN): Last week, a Wall Street Journal editorial highlighted a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to strike down the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) economically costly Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The (now illegal) proscriptions in the rule would have had disastrous impacts on coal-powered electric plants and the jobs supported by such. The WSJ noted that this rebuke “marks the 15th time that a federal court has struck down an Obama regulation, and the sixth smack-down for the Obama EPA.” The editorial concludes: “The message is that regulators must follow the laws of the United States. Why do federal judges constantly have to remind EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson of this basic principle?”
SMOTHERING PRODUCERS WITH PAPERWORK: A report released last week by the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) stated: “[The] growth in the cost of major regulations has far exceeded manufacturing sector growth and overall economic growth.” Some depressing findings include: “In 2012, major regulations could reduce the total value of shipments from the manufacturing sector by up to $500 billion in constant 2010 dollars; and [this year] manufacturing exports will be up to 17% lower than they would be without the estimated burden from major regulations.” One does not need a degree in economics or experience in community organizing to surmise what effect these regulatory burdens have on jobs in this critical sector.
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, such as the dozens of bills passed in the House that would provide relief from record amounts of red tape. Highlights include the REINS Act, repeal of President Obama’s federal takeover of healthcare law, and the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act. The Wall Street Journal called our efforts, “the largest overhaul of the rule-making process and larger administrative state since Ronald Reagan, and perhaps longer.”