A year after President Obama signed an Executive Order instituting “a government-wide review” of existing regulations “to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive,” the gap between his rhetoric and his record is as wide as ever. That’s according to several job creators, who told the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations yesterday that they are struggling to grow and create jobs in an “Over-regulated America,” as this week’s Economist cover put it. Here’s more from yesterday’s hearing on how the president’s broken promise to rein in red tape is making it harder to put Americans back to work:
- “Government Seems to Continually Increase the Number and Complexity of the Regulations Governing” Small Businesses, “Restricting Their Ability to Grow and Prosper.” Andrew F. Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants Inc., which employs 70,000 people nationwide, says that excessive government regulations “are creating structural impediments to opening and operating American businesses that all too often cause those in business to give up in frustration, reducing economic growth and dampening the entrepreneurial spirit so essential to our prosperity.” Puzder commented specifically on the small business franchise owners who “are concerned about the economic viability of their businesses in the current regulatory climate.” As he explained, “rather than acting to assist them, the government seems to continually increase the number and complexity of the regulations governing their businesses thereby restricting their ability to grow and prosper.”
- ObamaCare “Is Creating Significant Concern” Amongst Job Creators “With Respect To the Increased Costs and Regulatory Burdens it Will Undoubtedly Impose.” Puzder is particularly concerned about the job-crushing impact of the maze of ObamaCare mandates, regulations and penalties. According to Puzder, ObamaCare “is creating significant concern in the American business community with respect to the increased costs and regulatory burdens it will undoubtedly impose. … When entrepreneurs and businesses are unable to forecast with reasonable certainty that a venture will return a profit they will not invest, they will not grow and they will not create jobs. The predictable result is an uncertain and jobless recovery.”
- “Tremendous Volatility and Uncertainty Created by Our Regulatory System” Costing American Jobs. Robert A. Luoto, president of Cross and Crown Inc., a commercial logging company in Oregon, cited Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that “from 2001 through 2011 the United States logging workforce declined from 73,500 to 48,400 – a loss of almost 25,100 jobs or 35 percent.” Luoto said that the “tremendous volatility and uncertainty created by our regulatory system is one of the most significant” causes “for the collapse of professional loggers in the United States,” noting that “the regulatory system today creates uncertainty through numerous and ever-changing regulations.”
- “The Most Expensive Regulatory Program in History with Industry Costs in the Billions Annually.” The Obama Administration’s regulations on energy producers alone have created “the most expensive regulatory program in history with industry costs in the billions annually,” according Barbara Walz, Senior Vice President for Policy and Environmental at Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Inc., a not-for-profit electric cooperative. Walz discussed several Obama Administration regulations – including the “Utility MACT” rule – that will raise costs for Americans “directly in their monthly utility bills and indirectly in the goods and services that they purchase,” and “have real adverse economic impacts on the public” and the ability of energy producers to provide “well-paying and meaningful jobs in communities across the country.”
- “Compliance Timelines for Multiple Rules, Final and Pending… Have Acted to Significantly Increase Unpredictability and Uncertainty.” Despite President Obama’s Executive Order, Kimber L. Shoop, Senior Environmental Attorney for Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company [OG&E], says the company does not see the Obama Administration “successfully balancing the Executive Order’s laudable objectives … with promotion of economic growth, innovation, competitiveness and job creation,” adding that “if anything the compliance timelines for multiple rules, final and pending… have acted to significantly increase unpredictability and uncertainty for utility investment.” Shoop also cited several new energy rules and regulations that will impose massive costs on energy producers and have a direct impact on jobs and the economy. As she explained, “jobs in Oklahoma depend on our ability to provide the energy and energy infrastructure to power the state’s economy. We cannot afford to be cavalier with our customers’ money or with the impact such rate increases,” caused by the cost of new regulations, “would have on our state’s economy, jobs and competitive viability.”
House Republicans have passed nearly 30 jobs bills - several of which will roll back the Obama Administration’s job-crushing blitz of excessive government regulations – that are being blocked by Senate Democrats. Speaker Boehner has repeatedly urged President Obama to call on Senate Democrats to past these bills, but, as he pointed out yesterday, the president has chosen to campaign instead of working with Republicans to help the private-sector create jobs. Learn more about the Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators at jobs.gop.gov, and follow the progress of the nearly 30 bipartisan, House-passed jobs bills that have been brushed aside by President Obama and Senate Democrats here.