Obama’s Job-Killing Regulations

Posted: Oct 18, 2010 12:01 AM

With the prospect of a Republican majority in the House, and, possibly, the Senate, President Obama may continue his anti-business, job killing agenda by issuing intrusive, regulatory, executive orders. Americans should be concerned that federal agencies are drafting new regulatory edicts that will continue the Obama economic policy of stifling innovation and job creation, while rewarding union loyalists.

Taxpayers are growing increasingly worried by a government that is expanding too fast, becoming increasingly intrusive, and throttling the American job creation machine. But, Team Obama seems determined to ignore the stinging rebukes emanating from the nation’s voters.

Many Americans thought Henry Waxman’s Cap and Trade nightmare was dead. While Team Obama may no longer be able to push through another 2000+ page piece of job-destroying legislation, the Administration can use Executive Orders to implement many of the specifics of the legislation via changes in the regulatory policies.

Just last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued partial guidance to increase ethanol content in gasoline to 15% , even though ethanol’s supposed benefits have been solidly debunked. Studies by the EPA have shown that ethanol increases carbon emissions, drives up costs of corn and food products, hinders engine efficiency, and does little to make our nation more energy independent.

In short, the EPA’s ethanol policy is a ploy, designed to prop up a failed industry, with yet another multi-billion dollar bailout from taxpayers.

EPA quietly announced this decision that will result in huge increases in subsidies to the ethanol industry while forcing Americans to buy a product that they don’t want. Nor was there any acknowledgement within the Obama Administration that the unintended consequence of a15% mandate on ethanol will almost certainly drive up food costs on everything from beef to cereal, to tortillas.

Higher food prices represent a new tax on all Americans as we are forced to pay more for corn-based food products, so that Obama can continue to subsidize the ethanol industry.

In another move that compounds the regulatory burdens, the EPA recently issued a strategic plan for the next five years (Fiscal Year 2011-2015 EPA Strategic Plan) that will cost over a trillion dollars to implement. The plan advances retaliatory mandates that allow President Obama to punish organizations that oppose his flawed policies and donate heavily to Republicans.

For example, on page 44, the EPA unveils its new plan to criminalize violations of the agency’s mandates and has targeted 4 industries--cement plants, coal-fired utilities, glass plants and animal feeding operations, all industries that have, traditionally, donated heavily to Republicans.

It is hard not to consider that the Obama Administration’s actions may be politically motivated, since Americans have seen the Democrat party using this same kind of demagoguery with Koch Industries and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, both which have chosen to support GOP candidates and Republican job-creation policies.

Nor is the EPA the only Federal Agency working hard to crank up a slew of new regulations which will soon sprout like crabgrass in the spring. Take for example the new rulings that will give the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) broad new powers to require all financial institutions, hedge funds, investment firms, banks to set up hiring quotas for minorities.

More troubling still is that, in the interests of “diversity” and “inclusion” Section 342 (p.166) of the new financial reform bill will give the federal government vast new powers to dictate a firms “management, employment, and business activities”.

Let’s be clear: a diverse workforce is a great asset to any company and many Wall Street firms would benefit from hiring more women and minorities. But should we give some young, inexperienced government bureaucrat, only recently out of his/her Oshkosh b’Gosh, the power to dictate “business activities” of our major financial firms and banks? That seems to be the path that Obama is now endorsing.

The GOP may win back the House and possibly even the Senate, but Republicans need to be savvy and vigilant. Rolling back Obama’s job-killing, costly legislation will not be the only challenge facing the 112th Congress. Ferreting out the many government agency executive orders that place punitive, costly requirements on businesses and carry criminal penalties if businesses don’t comply, will be a far harder task. Identifying these many, destructive requirements will be hard to do; rescinding them will be even harder.