The Corner

War on Regulations

Conservatives, Tea Partiers, and libertarians have fought together against taxes and spending in recent years. It’s now time for a third front — a war on regulations. Regulations are what is keeping the unemployment rate so high and federal revenues so low — they’re as big a deterrent to hiring as taxation — and they suck $1.75 trillion a year out of the economy. That’s why I’m so glad to see this third front open up as part of the current debt battle in Washington. The GOP Conference Secretary, John Carter (R., Texas) had this to say today:

 “We don’t need new taxes, we need new taxpayers,” says Carter, the author of the Take off the Brakes on the American Economy Act, H.R.1235.  “Increasing federal revenue by having more Americans working and paying taxes is the only painless treatment for our deficit illness, and the only goal with universal non-partisan support.  Instead of spending and taxing to fight the deficit, we can do so with the truly unique approach of having the federal government do nothing for a couple years.”

The Take off the Brakes Act would place a 2-year moratorium on new federal regulations.  The guarantee of a stable regulatory climate would free businesses and investors from fear of the oncoming tsunami of Obama Administration red tape, thereby jump-starting new investment in private infrastructure and market expansion.   The American business community is estimated to be sitting on trillions of dollars of investment capital that could spark a massive growth in jobs and income, but is afraid to invest with the uncertainty of the current regulatory and economic environment.

“Businesses can’t and won’t hire if they continue to be inundated by job-killing new federal regulations on everything from construction costs to power production to health insurance,” says Carter. “The resulting 9.2% jobless rate means millions of unemployed families are not contributing payroll taxes while draining federal funds through extended unemployment benefits.  If we simply get our folks back to work we will make a dramatic improvement by increasing federal revenues through positive economic growth.”

Three cheers from me and the rest of the gang who’ve been campaigning against excessive regulations for years (see, for example, our annual Ten Thousand Commandments report, or my book). This has to be part of the conversation from now on, and if people like Representative Carter continue to show leadership like this, it will be.

For more, see John Berlau and Wayne Crews in today’s Politico.

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