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The regulation president puts on show as small business is dying

By   /   August 4, 2015  /   News  /   No Comments

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog

Despite his checkered record on business growth, President Barack Obama plans his first-ever White House Demo Day, celebrating the “important role entrepreneurship plays in America’s economy,” according to a White House press release.

On Tuesday, innovators from around the country will “demo” or share their individual stories.

“The Demo Day event will showcase why we need to give more entrepreneurs from all walks of life a chance to turn their ideas into indispensable products and services, and will include new announcements that support inclusive
entrepreneurship,” the press release states.

Photo by Beforeitsnews.com

REGULATION PRESIDENT: While President Barack Obama touts entrepreneurial innovation, are his ever-expanding regulations killing business?

The president has a strange way of showing his support, said David Burton, senior fellow in Economic Policy at the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation.

Obama, the regulation president, has created a “regulatory tsunami” that has devoured business growth, Burton said.

“It has become genuinely absurd,” the economist said. He testified in March before the House Small Business Committee, noting 96 things needed to change in order to clear the way for entrepreneurs.

“We are generally crushing small businesses and entrepreneurs in this country. It’s almost to the point where you need to be a lawyer to run a business,” he said.

According to the Heritage Foundation, the Obama administration had issued 157 new major rules at a cost approaching $73 billion annually in its first five years. That was a 153 percent increase over his predecessor, President George W. Bush over his first five years in office.

It’s not always the big things but the cumulative weight of hundreds of rules and regulations that small firms have to grapple with.

From rising taxes and ever-expanding environmental regulations, to confusing banking rules and employment codes, the costs of government regulation is killing U.S. business.

It’s the big things, too, like the administration’s newly proposed  final rule requiring for the first time federal limits on power plant carbon emissions. Obama aims to cut CO2 output by 32 percent by 2030 as part of his obsessive climate change campaign.

Obama called the final plan, released Monday, a moral obligation and declared that it will eventually create thousands of jobs and save energy consumers as it reduces greenhouse gasses.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy turned a colloquial phrase from her hometown Boston Monday in praising the regulations.

“This is an especially wicked-cool moment,” said McCarthy, who has been highly criticized by U.S. business for her agency’s penchant for red tape.

The Obama administration estimates an $8.4 billion annual price tag to bring down carbon emissions by 2030, but the actual cost won’t be known until states come up with their reduction plans – expected within a year.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a leading Republican candidate for president, blasted yet another unilateral move by the Obama administration, a decision that will burden Wisconsin energy consumers and the state’s recovering economy. The governor promptly pledged that Wisconsin would join other states filing a lawsuit against the administration.

“The Obama administration ignored the significant, overriding issues that will increases costs for Wisconsin ratepayers by up to $13 billion, unnecessarily harming families and killing manufacturing jobs,” Walker said in a statement.

A U.S. Chamber of Commerce study last year estimated deep cuts in CO2 could steal $51 billion in annual economic output and mean the loss of 224,000 jobs per year through 2030. The Midwest region, including Wisconsin, could see an average of 31,700 fewer jobs per year.

The Heritage Foundation projected as much as $2.2 trillion in lost gross domestic product under the reductions in output from coal-fired power plants.

Big regulations, small regulations and the administrative rules in between have made Obama’s “Demo Day” another big government dog and pony show, economic experts like Burton contend.

It doesn’t help matters that the United States has the most costly legal system in the world. Same goes for the nation’s health care system, exacerbated by Obamacare’s imposition of high fees on firms with 50 or more employees.

In a piece last year for the Daily Signal, Burton looked at the troubling trends:

* The number of unincorporated self-employed persons stagnated in the 1990s and has fallen steadily since 2006.

* The number of self-employed people today is the same as it was in 1985, even though today’s population is 34 percent larger.

* The share of firms age 16 years or more has increased by 50 percent over the past two decades. High-tech companies are shedding more jobs than they are creating.

* The number of initial public offerings (IPOs), although recovering with the substantial increase in equity market values over the past several years, remains substantially lower than it has been in the previous two decades.

“I have a daughter in grad school and if I’m in a particularly cruel mood I explain to her and her friends all that goes into starting and operating a business. I see their smile quickly disappear,” Burton said. “People don’t understand the incredible burden and complexity we are imposing on these small business owners.

“It’s becoming truly ridiculous and it is having a dramatic, real-world impact on the ability to succeed and thrive.”


M.D. Kittle is bureau chief of Wisconsin Watchdog and First Amendment Reporter for Watchdog.org. Kittle is a 25-year veteran of print, broadcast and online media. He is the recipient of several awards for journalism excellence from The Associated Press, Inland Press, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, and others. He is also a member of Investigative Reporters & Editors. Kittle's extensive series on Wisconsin's unconstitutional John Doe investigations was the basis of a 2014 documentary on Glenn Beck's TheBlaze. His work has been featured in Town Hall, Fox News, NewsMax, and other national publications, and his reporting has been cited by news outlets nationwide. Kittle is a fill-in talk show host on the Jay Weber Show and the Vicki McKenna Show in Milwaukee and Madison.