07.28.2011 0

Obama Regs Suffocate Recovery

By Rick Manning – Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot, has put the finger on why America is suffering from a jobless recovery as high unemployment continues at 9.2 percent, the federal government and the regulations it imposes.

In an interview with Investor’s Business Daily, Marcus doesn’t mince words when he says, “Home Depot would never have succeeded if we’d tried to start it today. 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.”

Marcus continued, “If you’re a small businessman, the only way to deal with it is to work harder, put in more hours, and let people go. When you consider that something like 70 percent of the American people work for small businesses, you are talking about a big economic impact.”

A growing number of business executives are beginning to speak out on the impact of an Obama Administration bent on heavier regulations in the employment and environmental arenas on the economy and most directly on the “new normal” of 14 million Americans unemployed and millions more underemployed.

A July 19th column by Paul Bedard points to Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed smog rules that would kill as many as 7.3 million jobs around the country in the next nine years according to the Manufacturers Alliance. New smog rules are not required until 2013, but the Obama EPA is fast tracking regulations in order to avoid losing control of the process due to the nasty inconvenience of the 2012 election when they might lose power.

Other EPA regulations designed to eliminate trace amounts of mercury from being emitted from coal fired utility plants are predicted by a consortium of labor unions (including the mine workers, pipe fitters and plumbers, utility workers and Teamsters) to shut down millions of coal producing and utility jobs.

But Obama’s EPA is not alone in their seeming quest to put every American in the unemployment lines.

Obama appointees to the National Labor Relations Board have engaged in a virtual jihad on behalf of his labor union allies, even going so far as to rule that Democratic Party leaning Boeing Corporation cannot build an airplane manufacturing facility in South Carolina, and suing states whose voters have chosen to put amendments into their state constitutions requiring secret ballot union elections.

Obama’s Department of Interior has dragged its feet in allowing drilling to return to the Gulf of Mexico to such a degree that many are taking jobs overseas in order to survive and marine drilling support firms are closing their doors. Gulf-based concerns are stating that if the permitting process were to be sped up more than 230,000 new jobs could be created.

With this context it is easy to understand why former Obama supporter Steve Wynn went public with his complaint that, “the business community in this country is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States.”

However, Wynn is wrong in his description. Obama’s political philosophy has been clear from the outset.

In the last stages of the 2008 presidential election campaign, Senator John McCain stated what was becoming glaringly obvious to many observers when he decried Obama’s socialist agenda, yet many in the business community scoffed at the notion that any Administration would put regulators in place who actually believed that agenda.

Yet, as we head past the two and a half year mark of the Obama presidency, it is exactly where we find ourselves.

On one hand, we have Obama, the candidate for re-election in 2012, claiming job growth and credit for saving the economy. While on the other hand, Obama, the president, has his own regulators pulling out the pillars of job growth through regulations, slow permitting and rigged union election rules.

As Mr. Marcus so eloquently told IBD, “It’s time to stand up and fight. These people in Washington are out there making your life difficult, and many of you won’t survive. Why aren’t you doing something about it? The free enterprise system made this country what it is today, and we’ve got to keep it alive. We are on the edge of the abyss.”

Unfortunately, Obama and his regulators don’t believe that the free enterprise system made our country great, but instead despise the wealth created by the system and are systematically using and expanding the power of the federal government to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Rick Manning is the Communications Director of Americans for Limited Government, you can follow him on twitter @rmanning957.

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