A recent study by The Heritage Foundation revealed that President Barack Obama has created a whopping total of 20,642 regulations during his presidency. Now that he’s in his final year in office, we face an additional 2,000 proposed rules he intends to push through to complete his tarnished legacy.
Businesses cannot be expected to thrive and expand in an economic climate that is plagued by doubt and uncertainty.
The Heritage study also pointed out that these rules are costly: Just last year, the administration racked up $22 billion in regulatory costs—equaling “a dollar for every star in the galaxy.”
The sheer cost of these regulations take a toll on the American economy. Businesses cannot be expected to thrive and expand in an economic climate that is plagued by doubt and uncertainty.
But beyond the monetary impact of the Obama’s administrative agenda, the heavy-handed regulations themselves also stunt business growth.
For instance, the Department of Labor, at the directive of the Obama administration, has released new regulations pertaining to investment advice.
The “fiduciary rule” would tinker with personal retirement plans, affecting more than 9 million U.S. households. Investment advice will be more costly, so that poorer clients won’t get the advice they could use.
Another decree from the Department of Labor pertains to overtime rules for employees. The Department of Labor believes it should double the salary threshold for overtime eligibility.
The threshold would basically double, moving from $23,660 to $47,476. This means that anyone earning at or below $47,476 would qualify to receive overtime benefits. This is a far-reaching change that is sure to cause dramatic economic shifts.
It sounds great, unless you lose your job because the employer can’t afford to pay the extra cost.
I used to be a small business owner. I know what it’s like to meet a payroll, to pay business taxes, to worry about whether or not my business would succeed. It’s hard enough to operate a business.
Throw in the tangled regulatory webs that exist today and the monstrous expense, and it’s a wonder anyone would want to start or attempt to grow a business.
I know that in order for our businesses to succeed, a lighter and more predictable regulatory regiment is needed. We don’t have that today. Top-down obtrusive regulations squelch the potential of many entrepreneurs and their endeavors.
Businesses not only need certitude in the federal government’s regulatory schemes, they need advance notice of regulations coming down the pipeline so they can adequately prepare for the impacts.
Too often the Obama administration will hastily release a regulation, not give those affected by the regulation ample time to prepare, and then expect businesses to pick up the pieces when complications inevitably arise.
Most of the country’s businesses, both large and small, are resigned to the fact that they must abide by numerous regulations. What they desperately want is the arbitrary nature of regulatory implementation to stop.
The administration’s proclivity for skirting Congress and hastily implementing burdensome regulations without significant congressional consideration or oversight has placed extraordinary obstacles in the way of our country’s economic growth. And it’s our eager and capable businesses with so much enthusiasm and passion for helping their customers and communities who are hurt in the long run.
Correction: This commentary was updated to reflect Obama’s remaining time in office.