AVOIDING EXCESSIVE, INCONSISTENT AND REDUNDANT REGULATION
January 27, 2011
Under the radar this past week was President Barack Obama's executive order for a review of government regulations in hope of showing that bigger government isn't bad news for economic growth and business.
Of course, the president didn't word it that way. In his op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal, Obama wrote that he just wants to "make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation."
That sounds like such a great idea, doesn't it? Not when you consider that the President's main purpose for the review is to better streamline his brand of socialism. There are several issues with Obama's executive order.
The first problem is the wording; don't be bamboozled by it. Despite the fact that Obama's intentions sound admirable, what the president really means is: "I'm putting together a study in hope you will believe that I'm tough on government regulations, when in fact I've expanded government regulations so much that I'm not sure it's hurting the U.S. economy and job market."
Second, not surprisingly, this federal government review is to be carried out by the federal government and excludes any independent (auditing) agencies, like how major financial regulators are using most of 2010's Dodd-Frank reforms for Wall Street and the banking industry.
But isn't the federal government's review (or audit) of itself a little like the Mexican drug mafia's reviewing illegal border crossings?
Third, since when are more government regulations and bigger government business, which the government uses to monopolize and direct the flow of money to itself, good for small businesses on Main Street? As Thomas Jefferson once said, "were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread."
Obama hit the nail on the head when he labeled government's already-existing regulations as "unreasonable burdens on business -- burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs."
Business leaders have been telling the White House for a long time that bigger government and more government regulations, including those for financial reform and health care, will not help job creation.
A few months back, the majority of Accounting Today's "100 Most Influential People in Accounting" concluded that such government expansion is and will continue to be detrimental to the economy.
Even some of the president's corporate allies have turned on him, for example, the Business Roundtable -- an association of chief executives of many of the largest U.S. corporations -- which compiled a 54-page critical report of the White House's regulatory and tax policies.
Former U.S. Court of Appeals judge and U.S. senator James L. Buckley, in his book "Freedom at Risk," reports that the Code of Federal Regulations consists of 225 volumes containing 35,367 pages of regulations, with record-breaking thousands and thousands being added by the present administration. That is why The Heritage Foundation titles its study on the escalation of red tape "Obama's Torrent of New Regulation."
No wonder The New York Times ran a report this past year titled "With Obama, Regulations Are Back in Fashion."
The Wall Street Journal reported just last week: "Business leaders say an explosion in new regulations stemming from the president's health-care and financial regulatory overhauls has, along with the sluggish economy, made them reluctant to spend on expanding and hiring. Companies are sitting on nearly $2 trillion in cash and liquid assets, the most since World War II."
Fourth, don't ever forget that Obama's call for a review of government regulations is coming from a White House that has expanded the federal government more than any administration since the Franklin Roosevelt administration.
Fifth, does anyone find it peculiar that the president essentially is ordering a review of the productivity of government expansion after he already has been in the process of greatly expanding government for two years? Isn't that something like chicken roadkill asking itself whether it should cross the road?
Ed Mills, an analyst at investment firm FBR Capital Markets, captured the true motivation behind the president's executive order to review government regulations, when he said, "This is all about political protection."
Bottom line: If business execs across the country agree that this White House has created an "explosion in new regulations" and Obama is ordering a review of them, in short, the president has just ordered a study supporting and proving the efficacy of socialism in the U.S.
Mr. President, how can you "make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation" when you have pushed aside the broken and bankrupt health care programs Medicare and Medicaid and created Obamacare? Or is having three socialized health care systems not "excessive, inconsistent and redundant"?
It's time to realize the wisdom of your predecessors, like that of Ronald Reagan, who said, "Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem."
And if Reagan seems too partisan for you, then consider the wisdom of James Madison, who said, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined."
Or Thomas Jefferson: "Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. (The Constitution) was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect."
We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.