The PJ Tatler

Obama's Regulatory State is Crippling the US Economy

Today is the first market day since S&P downgraded US credit, and at least this morning, the markets are down sharply. If we don’t start to get our fiscal house in order and start making moves, today, to let business grow again, there is a about a one in three chance that we will be downgraded further.

There is no sign yet that the Obama administration is willing to make any of those moves, though. Tim Geithner still has his job at Treasury. The administration trotted out its accomplices on the Sunday talking head shows to make excuses and even blame the Tea Party for the downgrade. And there is no sign that the administration is willing to ease the regulatory burdens and threats it has placed on American businesses. Those threats include:

  • ObamaCare
  • The offshore oil drilling permitorium, which may be holding back as many as 230,000 jobs.
  • The National Labor Relations Board and the National Mediation Board, which together are pushing a Big Labor agenda at the expense of thousands of jobs while guaranteeing that businesses face a more adversarial labor environment.
  • The EPA, which has taken upon itself the power to force cap and trade via regulation, after cap and trade failed in Congress, and is pushing against coal-fired power plants in Texas, North Dakota and other states and threatening to drive energy costs sky high while it may also force power plants to close. So far, AEP has announced it will close five plants due to the EPA’s actions. CPS will shut down its plant in San Antonio. Luminant may shut down as many as four plants. All of these shut downs are in response to the Obama EPA’s aggressive moves, and there is currently no replacement for the power generated by any of them. Each shut down will cost from hundreds to thousands of jobs.


-An item that’s technically legislation, not regulatory rulemaking, but stands to pack the same economically ruinous punch is the NAT GAS Act (H.R. 1380) which heavily subsidizes businesses and consumers who switch to natural gas-fueled vehicles directly benefiting billionaires T. Boone Pickens and George Soros at the taxpayers’ expense.  The subsidies – ahem, ‘tax credits’ – come in at a whopping $7,500 per passenger car, $64,000 for heavy-duty trucks and 18-wheelers, and up to $100,000 for gas stations installing natural gas pumps.

– And starting next year, new regulations will take effect, which will specifically target for-profit colleges and preventtheir students from obtaining federal loans unless the colleges amply ensure “gainful employment” for graduates. This will force some institutions to close their doors and limit the educational options Americans deeply need as they try to compete in a global economy.

According to a report from Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), the administration just in the month of July alone purposed 229 rules and finalized 379, the combined cost of which is over $9.5 billion.

Take all of that, add the already weak economy, and you get what we have: An economy killing jobs about as fast as business can create them. Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus said as much in reacting to Friday’s job numbers.

While some may be relieved at today’s jobs numbers, the reality is that our economy is struggling to recover. And a big reason for that is the federal government. The impediments that the government imposes are impossible to deal with. 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.

At the Job Creators Alliance, we’re fighting for the free enterprise system that made this nation great. We’re calling on small business owners and entrepreneurs – the real job creators – to stand up and point out how misguided government policies are stifling their ability to expand, invest and hire.

We can’t regulate our way out of the great recession. We have to unleash businesses to create jobs. But I don’t see that happening as long as the King of Excuses remains in the White House. He came into office threatening to wreck the economy for the sake of social engineering, and there are no signs yet that he has reconsidered that strategy.