Michael Whalen

Recently, Jan Eberly, the assistant secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, wrote a post that essentially amounted to a defense of Washington’s over-regulation, saying to small business owners and entrepreneurs across the country: “There isn’t anything wrong with our regulations. No problem here.”

Dr. Eberly seems to think that polls of Washington insiders and academic economists give policymakers a sense of what’s going on across the country. It’s that kind of head-in-the-sand mentality that defined Washington’s denial of the impending housing crisis in 2008.

If Dr. Eberly took a minute to step outside the Beltway, she would find very little support for her claim that big government overregulation hasn’t been stifling businesses from expanding, investing and hiring. In fact, according to the most recent Job Creators Alliance/YouGov poll, 84% of the Americans now believe that recent government policies have had a negative or no impact on job creation. In fact, 64 percent of those polled – and 71 percent of Independents – said they were worried that there was too much government regulation, taxes and federal spending.

The reality is, the bigger government gets – or threatens to get – the more unlikely it is that private enterprise will thrive or grow. This is especially true for small businesses. Big Business can afford to hire lawyers and compliance officers to ensure that they successfully navigate Washington’s regulatory maze, but most small businesses cannot. We get weighed down with reams and reams of paperwork that cripple our ability to do what we do best and force us to waste valuable time and energy on Uncle Sam, not on our customers.

It’s unfortunate that the voice of the small business owner, entrepreneur and entrepreneurial risk-taker isn’t being heard. It seems like the only people who have a say in how policy is crafted in Washington are either big businesses from Wall Street, or academics who have never hired a person in their life.

Michael Whalen

Mike Whalen is President and CEO of The Heart of America Group which designs, builds and operates hotels, restaurants and commercial real estate throughout the Midwest. He is also a member of the Job Creators Alliance, a group of current and former CEOs committed to defending the free enterprise system. More information can be found at: http://jobcreatorsalliance.org