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Regulations and red tape - a recovery's worst nightmare.
During a meeting in December of 2008 between Barack Obama and a team of his top economic advisers, the President-elect told his group that "government should help facilitate private ventures by removing bureaucratic red tape."
Now however, the ability of businesses and their owners to pull out of the economic doldrums it seems, is being hamstrung in part by the regulatory and red tape machine that is the Obama administration.
Penny Star at CNS News writes that the administration has overseen a massive expansion of the Code of Federal Regulations. During a three year timeframe, the codebook expanded by 11,327 pages, bringing it to a grand total of 169,301 pages - more than double the total number required back in 1975.
That three-year total under Obama's watch equates to about a 7.4% increase. By comparison, George W. Bush grew the publication by about 4.4% during his first three years in office.
One of the more egregious examples of the Obama regulatory machine in action? Needing 18 pages to define a very simple term - a 'full-time employee'.
The Washington Examiner reports that in an attempt to implement Obamacare, the Department of Health and Human Services, along with the IRS, somehow found it necessary to take nearly 20 pages to define what makes an employee 'full-time'.
This revelation caused Randy Johnson, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president for labor, immigration, and employee benefits, to describe the new regulations as "awfully complicated".
"It's scary," he added.
But the ever-expanding red tape is more than just complicated to U.S. businesses, it's costly.
From the CNS News report:
“…a handout of a Congressional Research Service analysis of a 2008 study commissioned by the Small Business Administration ... estimated the annual compliance price for all federal regulations at $1.7 trillion that year.”
"Economists with the Chamber ... calculat(ed) that if every U.S. household paid an equal share of the federal regulatory burden, it would mean a $15,586 tab for each household in 2008."
And while the costs continue to rise, benefits to Americans are minimal according to Susan Dudley at Politico, with 80% of them coming from a handful of environmental regulations, using some very favorable assumptions at that.
Dudley goes on to explain that the regulatory trainwreck will only get worse with a second Obama term.
So what does this mean for 2013? If Obama wins a second term, his pace of new regulations will most likely increase…Obama’s reelection, on the other hand, will very likely be embraced — particularly by staff at regulatory agencies — as a ‘mandate to regulate'.
In 2008, Barack Obama recognized the need to streamline federal red tape in order to facilitate business growth.
In 2012, President Obama has shackled American businesses with a staggering number of rules and regulations, adding costs and stifling growth.
How badly would this adminstration infringe on American businesses if they were to get a 'mandate to regulate' for four more years?