If you’ve been listening to the GOP hopefuls for the presidency you might think President Obama is not only a terrible commander-in-chief (who should launch a strike on Iran immediately), but somebody who’s carried out a massacre of the business community.
We’ve heard from Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) about President Obama’s “job-killing” overhaul of the health care industry, and former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) has warned us about the assailants working at the Environmental Protection Agency.
It’s commonly phrased by both the Republican Party and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that President Obama’s actions have led to uncertainty in the marketplace.
Malarkey! The Republicans, who would accuse President Obama of a “regulatory reign of terror” as former Governor Jon Huntsman (R-UT) put it, refuse to show any statistics to substantiate their claims, and when you actually do search for the statistics (as I did) they paint a wholly different picture.
An article by Bloomberg News was published on Oct. 26, 2011 in which the authors, Mark Drajem and Catherine Dodge, write that “President Barack Obama’s ‘tsunami’ of new government regulations looks more like a summer swell.”
They continue to write “Obama’s White House has approved fewer regulations than his predecessor George W. Bush at this same point in their tenures, and the estimated costs of those rules haven’t reached the annual peak set in fiscal 1992 under Bush’s father,” according to government data reviewed by Bloomberg News.
So, all of this nonsense about uncertainty in the marketplace are, well, malarkey! But if you don’t believe Drajem or Dodge, then why not ask the business community? Well, luckily a poll by the National Federation of Independent Business did exactly that in late 2011.
The NFIB describes itself as “the leading small business association representing small and independent businesses,” and it conducts a survey of small businesses regularly. One question that has been asked since 1973 is “what is the single most important problem your business faces?” The answer choices are inflation, taxes, government regulation, poor sales, quality of labor, interest costs, health insurance costs, the cost of labor and other matters.
The choice chosen by most businesses was “poor sales,” second was “taxes,” and third was “government regulation.” As economists point out, businesses continually complain about “taxes” and “government regulation” regardless of the conditions of the economy, what’s changed is the lack of consumer demand in the marketplace thus “poor sales.”
It doesn’t matter that economists such as Paul Krugman, Mark Zandi or Nouriel Roubini contend the claim of “uncertainty in the marketplace” as a driver of consistent unemployment is folly, Republicans insist on the criticism.
“Sadly, this rule isn’t about public health,” said Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) when he was questioned as to why he wanted to block regulations proposed by the EPA on Dec. 21, 2011 that would have sharply limited emissions of mercury and other pollutants from powerplants.
“It is a thinly veiled electricity tax that continues the Obama administration’s war on affordable energy and is the latest in an unprecedented barrage of regulations that make up EPA’s job-killing regulatory agenda,” continued Inhofe.
What’s so insidious about this falsehood about uncertainty in the marketplace and overregulation is that it attempts to force the 13 million people who are unemployed to choose between a job and their health. The rules by the EPA. are estimated to eliminate “up to 11,000 premature deaths” each year, along with thousands of heart attacks, asthma attacks and emergency room visits according to an article by the New York Times.
I don’t want to have to make the false choice between a job and my health – the public’s health for that matter- and I certainly don’t want my Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) making that choice for me.
If the Republican Party was really concerned about the marketplace, they would stop with the faulty diagnosis and address the actual problems.