Adding to the president's headaches are some of the Wall Street reforms that followed Enron and similar corporate scandals that have lately plagued American business. For example, quarterly reports on corporations might make things appear worse than normal because of new, rigorous accounting methods. Who's to say now what is and isn't a full, accurate disclosure of a company's finances? Should investors trust these new procedures?
Pro-growth legislation and stricter corporate profit reports may not be enough to court the dollars of a sometimes overly squeamish investment community, and an unsure public. The Bush team may have to get innovative to rescue the economy and themselves. Here's a bold move they might consider: re-regulation of certain industries.
Once the darling economic concept of the free enterprise movers and shakers, deregulation of large public utilities, communications companies and airlines have all resulted in disaster. Neither consumers nor investors have fared well. Overall, services have declined and prices have risen, for everything from natural gas to airline tickets.
Now Congress is trying to outspend itself in an effort to save the airlines -- again -- even as some of the air carriers' top managers have set aside protected funds of cash for themselves in case their companies go belly up.
Radical as it may seem now, the Bush administration might do well to avoid unending class warfare scraps over tax cuts, as well as more bailouts for companies that can't succeed on their own. Instead, why not start to clean up the mess initiated by the Jimmy Carter administration's de-regulation of the airline industry?
So what if it seems un-Republican on the surface? What could be more pro-business than taking action to save America's telecommunications, energy and transportation industries? More than that, what could be more Republican than saving a GOP White House from a potential slide into domestic decline? It could happen.