Regulatory Reform Restart; Congress Needs to Dial Back Obama's Rule-Making Machine
Byline: Evan Bayh and Andrew Card, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
As the country emerges from one of the most serious economic downturns in recent history, the last thing we need are more regulations that impose heavy burdens on job creators. One way to get Americans back to work is by removing excessive and costly regulations that make it harder for businesses to grow.
It appears in the early going that the Obama administration's executive order requiring a review of existing regulations that are out of date, unnecessary, excessively burdensome, or in conflict with other rules has encouraged some regulatory agencies to make recommendations that will save businesses time, money, headaches and resources. But more must be done.
That's because the order exempts from review the huge flow of regulations in the pipeline generated by the health care and financial reform laws as well as the large number of major rules generated by the Environmental Protection Agency in the past two years.
This enormous onslaught of new regulations could well cost hundreds of billions of dollars, hamper our recovery, undermine our competitiveness and cost jobs. The regulations are being promulgated under the same system that generated the ones the administration found necessary to review. The look back plans do not appear to fix this problem.
If we don't take the necessary steps now, our competitiveness and the success of America's small businesses - the job engines of our economy - are at risk. Businesses with fewer than 20 employees incur regulatory costs 42 percent higher than companies with up to 500 employees. The average regulatory cost for each employee of a small business exceeds $10,000 per year. The Small Business Administration priced the total cost of federal regulation compliance at $1.75 trillion in 2008 - amounting to $15,000 for each U.S. household.
Consider the case of Ronald Myers, the former owner of Hot Shot Equipment Co. in Prescott, Ariz. Mr. Myers was forced to shut down his iron gate manufacturing shop because overly burdensome workplace safety and health regulations prevented metalworking from being done by hand. …