Brett McMahon

‘Tis the season for every media outlet, blog, or writer to put out a “Top List” of the year. Instead of the usual top hits or highlights of the year, it’s worth remembering why this was one of the roughest years for small business owners at the hands of our own government. Herein our own list of the Grinches that tried to replace holiday cheer with a goody bag of ill-considered, overly onerous rules and regulations and other assorted job killers this year.

NLRB Speedy Election Rule: Just in time for Christmas, the National Labor Relations Board this week published its final version of a rule that will intentionally speed up elections for employees deciding whether they want to join a union—so that employers don’t actually have time to comply with all the agency’s arcane laws and talk to their employees. The result will inevitably more people in a union who have no idea what it’s going to mean for their work lives, retirement security, and ability to advance based on their own merit.

And just to throw in its own version of gift wrapping, the same NLRB is attempting to push through a rule forcing 6 million workplaces to post “notices” that are little more than glossy advertisements for joining a union. Think Normal Rockwell shills for Teamsters.

EPA: Led by Administrator Lisa Jackson, the EPA has been on an aggressive regulation push this year with rewriting air quality codes and using sustainability as argument to leverage control over business. In Texas alone new EPA rules have cost the state thousands of jobs and have halted in some cases energy production which increases the cost of gasoline. Nationwide the cost of compliance with the new EPA regulations to businesses will be in the hundreds of billions.

The Dark Angel atop the tree—ObamaCare: While not enacted in this calendar year, the costs and hidden surprises of this job killing monstrosity continue to spring forth. Once fully functional there will be a sharp increase in layoffs for employers who cannot afford to keep up with the increased costs. The repeal of this legislation is at the top of many small business owners wish list.

Gibson Guitars Raided: The Little Drummer Boy had to be thankful that he did not meet the same fate as his buddies in the guitar business. The iconic American instrument company was raided by Feds who accused the company of selling “illegal wood” that it had legally obtained. The final sour note: the government basically acknowledged the company would have an easier time manufacturing its products overseas.

Brett McMahon

Brett McMahon is a spokesman for the Free Enterprise Alliance's Halt The Assault campaign