In light of this week’s 48th annual National Small Business Week, which is dedicated to celebrating America’s most hard-working job creators nationwide, we must ask ourselves if the government truly celebrates and supports the success of small businesses year round. A quick look at the over-regulation and stifling tax complexities imposed on small firms suggests we should take more than one week to focus on the state of our nation’s small businesses.
From my position as a Member of Congress and Chairman of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access, the message from our hearings, job forums, and constituent letters is loud and clear: overreaching regulations are preventing entrepreneurs from fueling economic growth and creating much-needed jobs.
In order to protect small businesses from drowning in regulations, Congress passed the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) in 1980. This act mandates that agencies examine the impact of proposed regulations on small businesses and, if found to be significant, to consider less burdensome alternatives. But, the truth is that federal agencies make minimal effort to comply with the spirit of this law, and forge ahead with onerous new rules with hardly a nod to small businessmen and women who are left to comply with and implement new regulations that exhaust their limited resources. In March, I joined my colleagues on the Small Business Committee in holding a hearing to examine the current state of the RFA and begin the process of modernizing the law so that we can reduce the regulatory burdens saddling small businesses today.
I have also heard testimony on the harmful effects of other regulations, ranging from healthcare reform and the 1099 mandate to hobbling energy regulations and tax complexities. Many of our witnesses have the same concerns: agencies have become more focused on exercising regulatory power than allowing firms to succeed.
Business owners are not alone in recognizing the failings of the regulatory system, Speaker John Boehner recently said that the United States has “the most adversarial regulatory system,” and in her recent testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus noted that the EPA does not necessarily take into account job loss as a result of their rulemaking.