It’s traditional to wish for a prosperous new year – but especially for our small business entrepreneurs, who are the backbone of our economy.
Unfortunately, that backbone is being burdened more and more. As we recently reported, Forbes now ranks the U.S. number 18 in the world for promoting a free market/free enterprise economic environment.
There are many factors which contribute to that ranking — one of them is the uber government bureaucratic regulatory state. When you consider the fiscal costs of regulations on businesses, it’s essentially taxation, certainly without representation, as it doesn’t emanate from the legislative branch.
So we enter 2015 with a sad reminder of how government is not supposed to work. A free market economic system is supposed to set the conditions for private sector success. That doesn’t mean no regulations — just not all of these “surprises.”
As the Washington Examiner reports, “The pace of agencies issuing new rules and regulations has hit a record high under President Obama, whose administration’s rules have filled 468,500 pages in the Federal Register. And, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the president is poised to unleash another 2,375 new rules on American businesses without first giving Congress an up or down vote.”
“CEI’s Clyde Wayne Crews, vice president for policy, told Secrets Wednesday that of the top six biggest — annual — Federal Register page tallies since 2002, the Obama administration owns five. This year, he said, the Federal Register ended up printing 79,066 pages — 78,978 when blank pages are removed.”
Is the American economy really coming back or is it barely treading water against incredible odds? How long will the treading of water continue as the waves of incessant regulation pound our private sector businessmen and women? Obama’s words spoken in Roanoke, Virginia in 2012 keep echoing, “If you have a business, you didn’t built that, someone else did.”
Can any of you fathom 468,500 pages of new regulations in six years? I wonder just how high that stack goes. But the greater question is what have been the financial costs of these almost half a million pages of new regulations? And remember, this is happening without any congressional input — yet another issue of constitutional governance.
And just so you all know, there’s a little problem with Obamacare, since the SCOTUS ruled it constitutional with the individual mandate being a tax — well, the Senate can’t create a tax-generating piece of legislation, only the House of Representatives can. I know, I know – the rule of law is SO old school.
As the Examiner reports, “Crews, in a new report provided to Secrets, said that 2014’s total for final rules and regulations spelled out in the Federal Register was 3,541. Of the 3,541 final rules, 659 are expected to have an impact on small businesses. (so much for the rhetoric of President Obama). He said that yearly rules issued by the administration average 3,500, putting the Obama administration’s total at around 21,000.”
So, 21,000 new regulatory rules has resulted in some 470,000 pages in the Federal Registry – might that have something to do with our declining rank in promoting a business friendly atmosphere since 2009?
This is a key aspect of our economic security. Many address the issue of tax reform, but right along with that must come regulatory and government reforms. This current administration is strangling true private sector economic growth — hence why trillions of dollars of capital remains far from the shores of our country.
There are four major reforms necessary to truly reinvigorate our economic recovery: tax, regulatory, government, and monetary. This may not be the “sexiest” topic, but if we as a nation do not understand the detrimental effect of Obama’s regulatory endeavors, one day it may just be too late.
Later this month there will be yet another State of the Union Address by President Obama. Will this gross expansion of the administrative bureaucratic regulatory state be a topic of his address? Where is the GOP response to this adventurism in bigger government expansion?
This is why when I hear about the Dow Jones and other oft-touted economic indicators, it reminds me of the Titanic. The watchmen saw the tip of the iceberg but had no idea of what lay beneath the surface. I fear that’s our economy — we see only the tip and everyone cheers that all is well, completely oblivious to the massive mess below.
And folks, with 468,500 pages of new regulations over the past six years, there’s an iceberg dead ahead for the largest economy in the world.