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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 01/14/2011

Is Obama bad for business?

By Glenn Kessler


"At the federal level alone, regulations already fill 150,000 pages of fine-print text and cost Americans $1.7 trillion a year. Now, look, many of these rules we need, they're important for the economy, and we support them. Yet in recent years, we have seen an unprecedented explosion of new regulatory activity."
--Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 11, 2011

"In total, the administration estimated the cost, often referred to as the hidden tax, of the 43 new regulations to be approximately $28 billion, the highest single year increase in estimated burden on record, resulting in thousands of lost jobs. This new burden is on top of the $1.75 trillion estimated burden of existing regulations."
--Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, in a December letter to trade associations.


The major legislation passed in the first two years of President Obama's presidency has led to charges that such new laws as the health care bill and financial regulatory reform, combined with new rules imposed by overzealous regulators, have stifled job creation and hindered economic growth. The comments by Thomas Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and letter sent by Rep. Daniel Issa, using huge sums in the billions and trillions, are typical. Where do these figures come from and what do they mean?

The Facts

Two recent studies are the primary source of these statistics. While either may or may not be academically sound, neither was issued by what would be considered impartial parties. So some caveat emptor is in store.

One study, by Professors Nicole V. Crain and W. Mark Crain of Lafayette College, was written under contract for the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy, an independent unit of the agency that, in its own words, seeks "to remove regulatory barriers to entrepreneurial growth" The study, which argues that the burden of regulations falls most heavily on small businesses, is the source of the estimate that the annual total cost of federal regulations is $1.75 trillion--equal to 14 percent of national income.

The right-leaning Heritage Foundation produced the other study, titled "Red Tape Rising: Obama's Torrent of New Regulation," which is the source of the figure that the Obama administration added $28 billion in new regulations in 2010. The authors are James Gattuso, Diane Katz and Stephen Keen, who are affiliated with the organization, and they pored through agency reports to compile a total for the regulations issued in the 2010 fiscal year.

Under a congressional mandate, the regulatory arm of the Office of Management and Budget issues its own look at the overall cost of regulations. The OMB, though, focuses on major regulations over a ten-year period; unlike the other studies, it does not consider rules issued by independent agencies (which, after all, are not bound by administration policy.) The most recent OMB report calculated (using 2001 dollars) that the benefits of the regulations issued between Oct. 1, 1999 and Sept. 30, 2009 ranged between $128 billion and $616 billion while the costs were between $43 billion and $55 billion. The huge ranges suggest how uncertain these estimates are, but by OMB's accounting, the benefits outweigh the costs.

By design, the Lafayette College and Heritage Foundation studies do not consider the possible benefits--only the costs. The Lafayette authors suggest the benefits of regulations may be a subject for future study, but say it is important to shed light now on the hidden regulatory costs--and the impact on small business. "It may be that knowing the total cost of regulation spurs innovations in regulation where the same result is achieved at a lower cost," Nicole Crain said.

Gattuso, one of the Heritage authors, said that benefits estimates are variable and unreliable. "I looked at the figures but I didn't add them up," he said. "My focus was on the costs." OMB has documented that both benefits and costs of regulations have been overestimated and underestimated, but leaving out the potential benefits of regulations is like focusing on only on the calories in a meal and ignoring the nutritional content.

There are also potential methodological issues with the two studies. Some experts believe that adding up the cost of all regulations, as the Lafayette study does, is not practical because over time social mores change and technology adapts. (Seat belts are an example of a long-ago regulation that is now widely accepted.) "OMB does not look back further than ten years because it was our belief that, in a changing economy where businesses adapt to regulatory requirements, the projected costs of a rule adopted more than ten years ago may be quite different than the current costs of the same rule," said John D. Graham, who headed the OMB regulatory arm in the Bush administration and is now dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

The Lafayette study also estimates that 60 percent of the regulatory burden comes from economic regulations, such as laws that impose quotas and tariffs. In 2005, one of the authors estimated the total cost of regulations at $1 trillion, but a shift in the authors' approach for calculating, among other things, the impact of economic regulations largely resulted in boosting the overall cost 75 percent.

Digging into the Heritage study, one finds that $23 billion--80 percent--of the costs comes from Environmental Protection Agency rules. But these, Gattuso concedes, were not necessarily Obama's doing. Congress mandated major rules, such as a reformulated fuel standard that Heritage says will cost $7.8 billion; the courts also ordered the Bush administration to impose other environmental regulations that came to fruition after Obama took office.

Heritage estimates that fuel economy and emissions standards, jointly issued by the EPA and the National Hughway Traffic Safety Administration, will cost $10.8 billion, but administration officials say that is the result of some double-counting; the OMB cost estimate of the same rules is just $3.7 billion. EPA, meanwhile, estimates that the benefits of these rules will amount to almost five times the cost, for a total of $240 billion for 2012-2016 model year vehicles. In fact, auto industry officials wanted a national standard because otherwise California and other states would have imposed their own, tougher standards.

"No one quite knows what regulations really cost. It's one thing to calculate the paperwork burden and compliance costs, and quite another to calculate the savings in other programs," said Paul C. Light, a government expert at New York University "No one really knows the net cost after deducting the benefits. It's easy to argue we should cut regulations, but harder to deal with the costly consequences of doing so."


The Pinocchio Test

Donohue actually framed the issue correctly. While one may quibble with his use of the Lafayette study as a source--or his assertion there has been "an unprecedented explosion" of regulation--he made it clear that government regulations can have benefits and that there are instances when business wants new regulations. Issa's letter is more problematic because it does not demonstrate the same sort of balance--and because he relies on two suspect studies.

Two Pinocchios for Issa; Donohue gets a pass

(About our rating scale).


UPDATE, January 20:

The Heritage Foundation took strong issue with this analysis, saying it was "enough to leave Geppetto himself scratching his head," and offered a response that can be found here.

Follow The Fact Checker on Twitter @GlennKesslerWP

By Glenn Kessler  | January 14, 2011; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  2 Pinocchios, Barack Obama, Economy  
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Next: Myths and facts about 'Obamacare'

Comments

Issa is a partisan hack in the Palin tradition. He announces investigative Hearings will start and that those being investigated are guilty before any hearings even start.

If the Americans mood is changing, Issa will become a political relic, to which I say good riddance.

Posted by: rcc_2000 | January 14, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kessler, I believe you are being hoodwinked. The only pass the USCC has ever had since the 1970s is to exert its powerful influence on the administration, the Congress, and the high court in successfully pushing the agenda of big business. What America has gotten for it is a long history of wreckless deregulation and token enforcement.

One industry after another over the years has been deregulated while the public is told in each instance how competition and efficiency would be boosted, resulting in lower prices and better products and services. It’s the hollow free-enterprise promise that never fails to leave the public holding the bag and worse, as when the deregulated energy industry creates blackouts to jack up energy prices; when deregulated toy makers make toys that can kill; when deregulated tires explode on the highway; when the deregulated agricultural industry lets mad cow disease happen; when deregulated drugs and medical devices kill patients, when mergers create monstrosities too big to let fail; etc., etc.

To answer the question you pose in your title: Obama is no worse for business than his predecessors of either party. That is to say, big business won't admit it but it has captured both parties, and the USCC has been a big help in the process.

Gary
www.democracypowernow.com

Posted by: garybrumback1 | January 14, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Let's see, the only fact in Donohue's statement is the conclusion of the Lafayette study which you say is bogus because, among other faults, it ignores benefits.

Yet you give him a pass.

Posted by: lensch | January 14, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Bisuness held this country hostage, wanting the dergulating Republicans back. They whined and bellowed, all the while sitting on tons of cash and not hiring in the US. Well they got the tax breaks and are still laying off and hardly hiring at home. Yup, let's blame the president that we have greedy corporations.

Posted by: echurley | January 14, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Obama isn't bad for business, regardless of how many times Conservatives like the Thomas Donahue and Conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation keeps trying to throw this Red Herring in all of faces. If anything many Corporate businesses in America have been bad for themselves and Americans over the last 10 years, using a business model that they have been using to stuff more CEO profits in their pockets. You can't blame that on Obama, nor can they blame him for offshoring millions of American jobs overseas, since 2001 and giving away huge tax cuts to businesses since 2001. In addition, nor has it ever been regulations that stifle business growth or profits, it's their own Corporate malfeasance and waste, while running these businesses and GREED.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | January 14, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Pointless article. I makes NO difference what studies show, irrespective of their source. I KNOW the incredible costs placed upon me to run my business with useless, needless, baseless regulations from 'regulators' who couldn't find their butts with both hands. And, I have NO intentions of increasing my costs by hiring additional employees or adding to my business ... especially when i don't have the vaguest idea what my yet-to-be-revealed costs will be.

Posted by: IQ168 | January 14, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I just read the other posts. Railing against "greedy corporations" (which the posters seem to think of as a single entity vs millions of stockholders to whom they are responsible) and offering their meaningless advice is ridiculous! Persist in telling us what we SHOULD do ... as we continue to do what is in the interest of our companies. You concentrate on winning the battle while we concentrate on winning the war.

Posted by: IQ168 | January 14, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Idiotic article. Think tank studies are meaningless. You need to talk to business people and they will tell you about the reign of terror from government regulations. Look at the costs of these regulations -- direct and indirect. I have to assign people to watch what the government is doing on regulation so I can keep them off my back. That is wasteful and really unnecessary, and drains the bottom line.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | January 14, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

An impressive piece, but the author forgot to list all the unemployed that he interviewed. Talking to learned professors and officials, esconced in their oak paneled offices is one thing and the empirical, quite another.

Posted by: erodrik | January 14, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

An impressive piece, but the author forgot to list all the unemployed that he interviewed. Talking to learned professors and officials, esconced in their oak paneled offices is one thing and the empirical, quite another.

Posted by: erodrik | January 14, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

How can anyone have an intelligent discussion of regulations without considering both costs and benefits? It probably cost money to keep poison out of our water supply. Is it not also important to know that the benefits are less expense for health care and lost productivity due to sick people? Even if you don't care about the fact that people get sick, consider the fact that once they spend all their money they qualify for Medicaid for which you pay. If you say take away Medicaid and let them die, you still have the issue of lost productivity and just think of all those people going to funerals instead of working. How can we possibly debate these issues when we only look at the cost side?

Posted by: cdierd1944 | January 14, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

The Obama Administraton rescued the banks and auto companies. The Treasury and Federal Reserve have loaned corporations over $1 trillion at effectively zero percent interest and have also purchased hundreds of billions in illiquid securities that these companies couldn't sell to anyone elso. Obama also signed into law over $1 trillion in tax cuts. I think yiou can make the case that the Obama Administration is the most pro-business in history.

Posted by: buffysummers | January 14, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

The stock market is up nearly 50% in the 2 years since Obama took office, and most of those gains came before the polls shifted and it became evident the Republicans would take over the House of Representatives in the midterm elections. The smart money, in other words, knows better than to view Obama as anti-business.

Interesting to note that in the most recent survey of global entrepreneurship, the #1 entrepreneurial nation is... Denmark. Not exactly your libertarian, low-tax paradise! But it is a place where entrepreneurs can find well-educated employees and don't have to worry about keeping or finding health insurance for their families if they go out on their own and start a company.

By the way, there's some evidence that the bankruptcy "reform" of 2005 -- supported by virtually all Republicans and, sadly, some "moderate" Democrats, including Biden -- is damaging new business formation. Many entrepreneurs fail more than once before they figure out how to succeed; the conservative bankruptcy law is punishing them more heavily after the first failure, and making them more cautious about trying. Now, THAT is truly pernicious regulation.

Posted by: bcamarda2 | January 14, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Wow, all the "Businesses are EVIL!" posts are both comic and scary.
The posters seem to be confusing Obama's 'pet' corporations (GE, Goldman Sachs, the UAW in GM/Chrysler clothing, etc) with the typical business of 10-100 employees who are the backbones of economic activity and job creation. Obama LOVES the former, at the expense of the latter.

Posted by: OttoDog | January 14, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Wow, all the "Businesses are EVIL!" posts are both comic and scary.
The posters seem to be confusing Obama's 'pet' corporations (GE, Goldman Sachs, the UAW in GM/Chrysler clothing, etc) with the typical business of 10-100 employees who are the backbones of economic activity and job creation. Obama LOVES the former, at the expense of the latter.

Posted by: OttoDog | January 14, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Wow, all the "Businesses are EVIL!" posts are both comic and scary.
The posters seem to be confusing Obama's 'pet' corporations (GE, Goldman Sachs, the UAW in GM/Chrysler clothing, etc) with the typical business of 10-100 employees who are the backbones of economic activity and job creation. Obama LOVES the former, at the expense of the latter.

Posted by: OttoDog | January 14, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The government should be neither pro-business nor anti-business. The job of the government is to mediate disputes between aggrieved parties. The business sector may feel that environmental regulations, safety regulations, etc. impede their ability to innovate and thereby the earn lower profits and it costs more to bring new products to market, etc.

Rational people may argue whether regulations are necessary, how they are to be enforced, etc., but to regard the benefits without considering costs is wrong just as considering costs without considering benefits is wrong. Individuals must realize that the government cannot protect them from every hazard; i.e., that they must bear some level of risk. Similarly, business must realize that they do not have unlimited rights to earn profits and that higher rates of growth of Gross Dosmestic Product in and of itself is not necessarily a desirable goal for society.

Posted by: edubin1 | January 14, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama has been bad for business since the day he wrapped up the nomination in 2008. Business did not have to wait until he was in office to find out what he planned to do; they immediately began scaling back expansion plans in the US and also shedding employees to get below and stay below the 50-worker limit for ObamaCare

Everything Mr Obama said he'd do, and everything he has done, has discouraged businesses to invest in the US. If, with every policy decision, he had done the exact opposite, the economy would be much healthier and unemployment much lower.

There are many reasons why this recovery is far less robust than nearly all previous expansions,but these reasons can all be summarized in one word: Obama.

Posted by: JBaustian | January 14, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Only one question. Does Mr. Kessler have any clue as to what benefits there may be from all of the Obama administration's new regulations which, in my humble opinion, has and will continue to impede any economic recovery?

Posted by: apdseal | January 14, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama has been bad for business since the day he wrapped up the nomination in 2008. Business did not have to wait until he was in office to find out what he planned to do; they immediately began scaling back expansion plans in the US and also shedding employees to get below and stay below the 50-worker limit for ObamaCare

Everything Mr Obama said he'd do, and everything he has done, has discouraged businesses to invest in the US. If, with every policy decision, he had done the exact opposite, the economy would be much healthier and unemployment much lower.

There are many reasons why this recovery is far less robust than nearly all previous expansions,but these reasons can all be summarized in one word: Obama.

Posted by: JBaustian | January 14, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama has been bad for business since the day he wrapped up the nomination in 2008. Business did not have to wait until he was in office to find out what he planned to do; they immediately began scaling back expansion plans in the US and also shedding employees to get below and stay below the 50-worker limit for ObamaCare

Everything Mr Obama said he'd do, and everything he has done, has discouraged businesses to invest in the US. If, with every policy decision, he had done the exact opposite, the economy would be much healthier and unemployment much lower.

There are many reasons why this recovery is far less robust than nearly all previous expansions,but these reasons can all be summarized in one word: Obama.

Posted by: JBaustian | January 14, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

JBaustian & 'business owners',
This is how people can tell you are not genuine in regard to your arguments. You speak as if the world began in January of 2009. You speak as though everything was just dandy when it was not.
To the business owners, I question whether you speak of FEDERAL or STATE regulations. Somehow the boiler plate term of 'regulations' is being applied when there are two types enforced by either the federal authorities or state authorities. Its just like the tax argument. Many argue that their taxes are rising but never distinguish which taxes; federal or state.
I'm asking because you can't blame your governor for increased fed taxes, just like you can't blame the Prez for higher state taxes.

Posted by: priceisright | January 14, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

obviously he's bad for business.

things go from bad to worse with every decision he makes.

he directly kills industry, oil drilling... proven

he threatens industry, coal... proven

he burdens business with crazy amounts of paperwork via the healthcare bill and others... proven

he makes business owners, like myself, nervous about whether they actually own what they own today.

for this businessman, he's a time killer, he's a cost raiser, and a job killer (I have fired 3 since the libs took power in 07)

Posted by: docwhocuts | January 14, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

no offense, but you are a hack, a shrill for the dems who were in control of the house and senate 2 years before obama took office...
so when talking about obama we are talking about dems...
when we talk about dems, we talk about obama...
wapo has no credibility, none...

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 14, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

So, Glenn, *is* Obama bad for business?

Posted by: zukermand | January 14, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

To Bcarmada2 who wrote "The stock market is up nearly 50% in the 2 years since Obama took office,?" The stock market was 14,000 Oct. 2008 (GWB was prez), it is now around 11,500. That's DOWN over 20%. Are you a 'gra-e-ate' of a 'publik skool' in the blue state northeast?

Posted by: IQ168 | January 14, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Two pinocchios... go figya. And to JBaustian: Your beloved pro-business-at-the-expense-of-consumers president, Gee Dubya, GAVE us this mess in the form of a severe recession - which was declared in 07/08.

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY ONCE IN A WHILE!

Posted by: ANTGA | January 14, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Responding to:

Pointless article. I makes NO difference what studies show, irrespective of their source. I KNOW the incredible costs placed upon me to run my business with useless, needless, baseless regulations from 'regulators' who couldn't find their butts with both hands. And, I have NO intentions of increasing my costs by hiring additional employees or adding to my business ... especially when i don't have the vaguest idea what my yet-to-be-revealed costs will be.

Posted by: IQ168 | January 14, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse
____________

Dear IQ168,

I hope you are not simply lying about your IQ, because your posting betrays an IQ of about 90. So, facts don't matter? You don't care what any study shows, as long as its results match up with your subjective perceptions of how burdensome regulations are. Has is ever occurred to you that proper regulations can serve to increase consumer confidence, which ends up benefiting your business, if you are an honest businessperson? Business people in this ocuntry get locked into an attitude of complaining about every regulation that comes their way, but never stop to point out the benefits of regulation.

Posted by: GeorgeSanders | January 14, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

The article briefly picked up only some facts and so it is difficult to get an overview how the number of 1.75 trillion was calculated.

But indeed SME´s play an important role in the world. There are worldwide 200 million SME´s supplying 60-70% of all jobs in the world. Can you imagine that China about 81% of the jobs are provided by SME´s?

We all saw in the past years many stimulus packages under Bush and Obama, but mainly helping the large corporations, especially banks.

Well but even with the stimulus packages several banks ran bankrupt during the past two years. In addition the wished effect of a booming economy and more jobs did not happen.

Sure the stock market recovered, but the economy did not.

Still millions of Americans search a job to finance their families and homes.

Large corporations do not offer many perspectives, indeed many have cut jobs and several created subsidiaries in foreign nations, especially in Asia and created jobs there.

So the American tax money as well investments have been used to create jobs abroad and not in the US.

SME´s in contrary have different focus. Plenty concentrate only on the national market, while others are very specialized and so are in a good condition to sell their products or services in the global market.

Regarding the international trade administration of the Department of commerce 288.747 SME´s made 97.5% of all US exports in 2008.

You see how important SME´s are for the US.

Actually there are about 21 Million SME´s in the US.

If every only creates one new job then the crisis is over and the US economy would boom.

Posted by: VinzenzLeutloff | January 14, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Responding to:

To Bcarmada2 who wrote "The stock market is up nearly 50% in the 2 years since Obama took office,?" The stock market was 14,000 Oct. 2008 (GWB was prez), it is now around 11,500. That's DOWN over 20%. Are you a 'gra-e-ate' of a 'publik skool' in the blue state northeast?

Posted by: IQ168 | January 14, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

______________

Dear IQ168,

This posting proves you are a shameless liar. Tell us where the stock market was in January, 2009, at the end of Bush's term, not where it was before the peak collapse of the world economy.

Posted by: GeorgeSanders | January 14, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"Is Obama bad for business?"
---------------------------------------
ABSOLUTELY

I'm most of the way through the ObieCare bill and I can't believe the MASSIVE amount of new business regs that have NOTHING to do with HC. It will add THOUSANDS of $ in overhead for no reason. Insane. I also know more than one small bus owner that is cutting staff to stay under the employee count where ObieCare regs kick in.

MORE unemployment.

Posted by: illogicbuster | January 14, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Stock Market at 14,000 in Oct 2008?

Really? And you mock others' education?

http://cdn.genxfinance.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/dija-2008_weekly.png

Stop playing games.

I'm sure in your world of magical thinking, Obama single-handedly destroyed the stock market, the business climate, the military, and the constitution all before he even became president. You know, because he's a socialist.

Posted by: DrFire | January 14, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

To DrFre who wrote "Stock Market at 14,000 in Oct 2008? Really? And you mock others' education?" Google (or Bing - I boycott Google because it supports BH O'Carter) for DOW (you know, that little stock market thingy). Click on 5 year average. And, look at 2008 (GWB was prez) and Voila! The Dow was 14,000. Yes ... and I mock your "Dr." In what? Philoslophy? It sure isn't in economics!

Posted by: IQ168 | January 14, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

To georgeSanders who wrote "Tell us where the stock market was in January, 2009," You mean after Bwany Fwank and Chris Dodd I(in tandum with George Soros) had engineered the collapse over the two years before BH O'Carter was elected that the demonkrats were in control? Not a good starting point if you are analyzing the crash.

Posted by: IQ168 | January 14, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Despite the Banks and Insurance companies screwing small business.

Small Businesses are benefiting from President Obama policies.

Such as Big Businesses no longer STEALING SBA Set-aside Business going to Small Businesses.

Posted by: pdq5 | January 14, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"The most recent OMB report calculated (using 2001 dollars) that the benefits of the regulations issued between Oct. 1, 1999 and Sept. 30, 2009 ranged between $128 billion and $616 billion"

I have an honest question. In what way does a regulation have a positive economic benefit? I find it kind of absurd to think we have regulations that create such large returns. If that were the case, why not just regulate the absolute crap out of everything and we can all retire? I fear the calculation of "benefit" is that of new tax receipts and the "costs" are government expenses. In my opinion, that's just a money pit.

Posted by: NNevada | January 14, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

October 9, 2007 the market was at an all time high. It wasn't 2008.

http://www.the-privateer.com/chart/dow-long.html

The fact is, the market was OVER-INFLATED due to the impending financial/housing market crisis. It was all illusion, and not based in reality.

The market reached its low in March 2009. Please tell me what legislation contributed to that (other than the repeal/modification of Glass-Steagall and other financial regulation).

The market is reactionary, and as we all can tell, often does not act in the best LONG-TERM interests. Otherwise, why did Lehman Brothers fail?

Posted by: MichelleKinPA | January 14, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Oui! Ja! Ano! Tak! Na'am! Shundaq! Ha! Hoo! Yä! Well, there you go! People all around the world agree that Obama is not only bad for business, he's bad for the United States. VOTE REPUBLICAN IN 2012!!!

Posted by: georges2 | January 14, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

To the business owners, an honest question: what regulations are stifling YOUR business, specifically? Are you just talking about taxes or are there actual regulations that hamper you? What are they? This is not a sarcastic question. Educate the rest of us.

To the people questioning what economic benefits exist, see the seatbelt examples. Costly to start installing, sure; but saved lives = people who can work instead of being dead, lowered healthcare costs, and so forth. These are quantifiable gains due to automotive regulations. After a year or two--or even earlier--they far exceed the cost of implementation.

Posted by: samslaw25 | January 14, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

All the people here supporting a Bush economy are paid shills.

It was a miserable 8 years and got worse after the mismanagement of the GOP controlled country.

NOW they are shooting Politicians in the street to make sure their point is proven.

Posted by: pdq5 | January 14, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Big Business commissions studies that prove that government regulation is bad for Big Business. What an eye opener! The studies "prove" that we'd all be better off if the US didn't regulate drugs, food, auto safety, aircraft safety, Wall Street, etc. And the Global Corporate Cartels that funded the studies would save billions of dollars if they didn't have to occasionally tell the truth about what they are doing. And of course, they'd immediately pass those savings on to consumers - or deposit the loot in unregulated offshore banks - or donate a portion of the loot to anti-regulatory congressmen like Darryl Issa - whichever seems most ethical at the time.

Posted by: CALDEM | January 14, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

To the business owners, an honest question: what regulations are stifling YOUR business, specifically? Are you just talking about taxes or are there actual regulations that hamper you? What are they? This is not a sarcastic question. Educate the rest of us.
=====================
I own a small business.
Hit shy of $20 million last year.

Some government regulations are stifling to hiring especially with Immigration.
Which has made it difficult to hire a foreign specialist and keeping them in the USA.

BUT what is more devastating is not the US Government Regulations.

IT is getting affordable Health Insurance
and Bank Loans from Banks.

If it were not for SBA, small business would never get any business loan to grow.

BUT is OK to give failed Financial companies trillions..

BUT noting for the Infrastructure of our country to grow.

Health Insurance companies are ripoffs.

Posted by: pdq5 | January 14, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, pdq5. Those are reasonable concerns. I've heard the immigration one can be especially onerous these days, with strict limits on professional visas these days.

Anybody else want to throw out some examples of the regulations hampering their (big or small) business?

Posted by: samslaw25 | January 14, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

No, it all depends whether it is icreasing the oversight or controlling or taking over the private sector, in the name doing greater good to the society.If it is latter, it boils down to Socialism and its aftermath of redistribtion of wealth.Obvuiously controlling the price and transferring the cost, means subsidisation- not neccesarily with only facet. Our economy from time immomerial has dependant on supply and demand, in all sectors of our economy.The main purse string is obviously at the Federal level-irresponsible very creative entitlements or mix this with tax increases or mainly by tax manipulation.
It is time we stop pointing a fingering at European economy, whic we know has fallen, as well as the standard.Most poorest people in USA,are financially well off.The same goes for Health care-our standards of health care are unmatched in any part of the world.Safety standards are envy to the rest of the world.
That much said, we have to admit there is much to be done, taking only the local conditions.The recent tragedy in Arozona, is an example on sides of the equation.First,M/S Giffords would not have survived,if our health standards required Fderal buearacracy.But the situation may not have happened,if the mumbling bueaucracy was in place. Let the nation make a judgement

Posted by: jayrkay | January 14, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

No, it all depends whether it is icreasing the oversight or controlling or taking over the private sector, in the name of doing greater good to the society.If it is latter, it boils down to Socialism and its aftermath of redistribtion of wealth.Obvuiously, controlling the price and transferring the cost, means subsidisation- not neccesarily with one facet. Our economy from time immomerial has dependended on supply and demand, in all sectors of our economy.The main purse string is obviously at the Federal level-irresponsible very creative entitlements or mix this with tax increases or mainly by tax manipulation.
It is time we stop pointing a fingering at European economy, whic we know has fallen, as well as the standard.Most poorest people in USA,are financially well off.The same goes for Health care-our standards of health care are unmatched in any part of the world.Safety standards are envy to the rest of the world.
That much said, we have to admit there is much to be done, taking only the local conditions.The recent tragedy in Arozona, is an example both on sides of the equation.First,M/S Giffords would not have survived,if our health standards required Federal buearacracy.But the situation may not have happened,if the mumbling bueaucracy was in place. Let the nation make a judgement.Creativity starts at home, Responsibility forces the stimulus.

Posted by: jayrkay | January 14, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

NNevada lets take a look at food safety.
No regulation could lead to lax and nonexistant business standards and quality. These lax standards (or no standards) could lead to food with bacteria and more pollution by the food producer. The pollution would cost more to local and fed authorities (ie your tax dollars). And the lax food safety and pollution could cause more people to become sick, hospitalize or dead. These issues can lead to businesses being shuttered b/c they are sued and people will stop buying the product. Closed businesses do not employ people.
Hence how regulation can burdon businesses intially and have a positive economic impact.

Posted by: priceisright | January 14, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I've got news for the extremist Republican party:

Now that you have some actual power again (the House) you won't be able to get away with spending all of your time throwing verbal bombs at the Dems, going golfing and then hitting the DC cocktail circuit at night every day.


You either CREATE JOBS or you will be gone in 2012 so fast that your heads will spin.

Chop chop Repugs!


You've got two years!


Time's a wastin'!

.

Posted by: DrainYou | January 14, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Priceisright, thanks for the very obvious example that escaped my grasp. I guess my only concern with the numbers at this point is that they are similar to "jobs saved". They obviously use models, but there is no way to validate the models themselves. Intuitively, safe food regulations (to use your example) will end up saving money in health care costs, lost wages, etc. To what extent? Regardless of one's level of education in economics, we have no idea.

Posted by: NNevada | January 14, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

DrainYou: Yeah, yeah, yeah! Well, I've got news for you. We Republicans will do this, even if the Democrats vote against us just for the sake of voting against us! But I have some more news for you. The Democrats will not come back in 2012. Americans are sick and tired of Obama's socialist agenda. They knkow if he's elected he'll do everything he can to reverse course and honor his pledge to his leftist buddies. It's not going to happen unless the left wants a revolution.

Posted by: georges2 | January 14, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

DrainYou: Yeah, yeah, yeah! Well, I've got news for you. We Republicans will do this, even if the Democrats vote against us every chance they get just for the sake of voting against us! But I have some more news for you. The Democrats will not come back in 2012. Americans are sick and tired of Obama's socialist agenda. They know if he's elected so a second term he'll do everything he can to reverse course and honor his pledge to his leftist buddies. It's not going to happen unless the left wants a revolution.

Posted by: georges2 | January 14, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

.

Hey attaché Democrats

What? Muslim inhabitants protest?

News reports said Ben Ali, 74, had fled the country, but his whereabouts were not officially known. Wherever he was hiding, the day's events suggested his 23 years as Tunisia's ruler were over, submerged by a wave of popular unrest set off by economic deprivation, official corruption and political frustration among the country's 10.5 million mostly Sunni Muslim inhabitants.

BYE BYE

Democrats

Posted by: kstobbe1 | January 14, 2011 6:24 PM | Report abuse

HAVE YOU SEEN ALL THE TAX INCREASES THAT ARE IN THE JOB KILLING OBAMACARE?

http://www.atr.org/comprehensive-list-tax-hikes-obamacare-a5758#

HELP US REPEAL OBAMACARE NOW.

Posted by: COOLCHILLY | January 14, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

HAVE YOU SEEN ALL THE TAX INCREASES THAT ARE IN THE JOB KILLING OBAMACARE?

http://www.atr.org/comprehensive-list-tax-hikes-obamacare-a5758#

HELP US REPEAL OBAMACARE NOW.

Posted by: COOLCHILLY | January 14, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Bush: -24.9%

DJIA January 19, 2001 10,587.59

DJIA January 20, 2009 7,949.09

Obama: +32.6%

DJIA January 20, 2009 7,949.09

DJIA January 14, 2011 11787.38

Just he facts
Joe Friday

Posted by: waxtraxs | January 14, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I am a minority small businessman. Obama’s ‘no public option’ healthcare reform was no reform at all. It’s killing small business.

In February 2008 Candidate Obama saw and recognized the problem when he stated:

"I am proud to have the support of the American Small Business League and their grassroots efforts to help protect American small business. Helping American small business is part of our movement for change and the end of politics as usual," Sen. Obama said. "98 percent of all American companies have fewer than 100 employees. Over half of all Americans work for a small business. Small businesses are the backbone of our nation's economy and we must protect this great resource. It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants."

Today in 2011 President Obama has forgotten the issue and the solution. Yeah something is broken in Washington – It’ President Obama’s Word.

The Obama administration needs to stop diverting federal contracts from Small Businesses, Minority-owned businesses and Veteran-owned Businesses to large federal contractors.

Posted by: question-guy | January 14, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama bad for business? Blithering idiocy.
Business preferred the onset of Great Depression II under w. Bush/Cheney?
Business has something against our economy recovering since Obama and the Democrats won the majority again.
What planet do these people orbit?

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | January 14, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

IS THE POPE CATHOLIC?

Is OWEbama bad for business? He, Pelosi and Reid RAMMED THROUGH millions of new BUREAUCRATIC rules that only God could figure out.

Now, MAO-bama is running scared. He saw his DUPES thrown out of office (thank you, God). He's pulling hard-right. It won't be enough. He just got lucky in 2008, a reality-inexperienced academic with SOCIALIST leanings.

He's done, he's a lame duck. No one believes a word he says, including "but" and "and."

REPEAL HEALTH CARE 'DEFORM'

RETIRE OWE-BAMA 2012

Posted by: BHO_ONE_TERM | January 14, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Is Big Business good for America??

Please do not confuse it with small business, that creates most of the jobs domestically.

Lately all Big Business has been doing is sending jobs overseas and not really caring what happens to the American people. Oh, forgot, they want us to buy, buy and buy .... consume.

NO JOBS ...... NO MONEY to consume the goods these Big Businesses import .....
WAKE UP AMERICA.

Posted by: bkarpus | January 15, 2011 5:40 AM | Report abuse

Who was it that just closed down the US coal industry?

Posted by: rteske | January 15, 2011 6:41 AM | Report abuse

For all the anti-business rhetoric coming from the GOP and Obama, very little was done to rein in corporate excess, nor making the rich pay what they did prior to Reagan. Exxon the most profitable corp. in the world still writes off billions in income as does G.E. Blankenfeld pays half the rate of his secy with a million times more income. Banking regs did not come until TARP was repaid with big getting bigger with nearly all giving out dividends this year. Small business not getting loans putting purchases on their Am Ex. did not get gov't loan help for 18 months. Sutton robbed banks because that is where the money is yet IRS does not audit all over million income returns. Glass-Stegall is still not reinstated, overseas income can still be deferred, we still allow imports whose entered value labor costs are not pro-rated to min. wage nor any embargoes on EPA violated goods. Corporations have recorded the largest income in our history last quarter. The fact is both sides are controlled by the monied interests, with the Fed. unconstitutionally able to make income without being taxed.

Posted by: jameschirico | January 15, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

By John Dyer, MSN Money

George W. Bush's presidency cost the country about $11.5 trillion, if we estimate liberally.

What has been hard on business and employment?

1. The Reagan/ Bush Savings and Loan Heist( millions out of work)
"There are several ways in which the Bush family plays into the Savings and Loan scandal, which involves not only many members of the Bush family but also many other politicians that are still in office and were part of the Bush Jr. administration.

Jeb Bush, George Bush Sr., and his son Neil Bush have all been implicated in the Savings and Loan Scandal, which cost American tax payers over $1.4 TRILLION dollars (note that this was about one quarter of our national debt").

The Reagan/Bush savings and loan heist was considered the largest theft in history at the time. George Herbert Walker Bush then took $1.4 trillion of taxpayers money to cover the theft.

http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

2. The Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers(millions out of work)
Yes, substantial fraud was involved. For example, mortgage companies and banks used deceit to get people to take on mortgages when there was no possibility that the borrowers would be able to meet the payments. Not only was this fraud, but this fraud depended on government authorities(Bush admin) ignoring their regulatory responsibilities."

http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

3. Only 3 major Financial Institutions were at risk in spite of what we’re told ?
"There were just a handful of institutions that were terribly weakened. AIG the insurer, Bank of America and Citigroup, Those three were clearly in very weakened form. Many of the other big banks simply were not.

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year


Where is the FBI and the Grand Jury probe?

Posted by: rheckler2002 | January 15, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

In 1933, in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash and during a nationwide commercial bank failure and the Great Depression, two members of Congress put their names on what is known today as the Glass-Steagall Act (GSA).


This act separated investment and commercial banking activities. At the time, "improper banking activity", or what was considered overzealous commercial bank involvement in stock market investment, was deemed the main culprit of the financial crash.

According to that reasoning, commercial banks took on too much risk with depositors' money.

Additional and sometimes non-related explanations for the Great Depression evolved over the years, and many questioned whether the GSA hindered the establishment of financial services firms that can equally compete against each other. We will take a look at why the GSA was established and what led to its final repeal in 1999.


Reasons for the Act - Commercial Speculation

Commercial banks were accused of being too speculative in the pre-Depression era, not only because they were investing their assets but also because they were buying new issues for resale to the public.

Thus, banks became greedy, taking on huge risks in the hope of even bigger rewards.

Banking itself became sloppy and objectives became blurred. Unsound loans were issued to companies in which the bank had invested, and clients would be encouraged to invest in those same stocks.

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/03/071603.asp

Posted by: rheckler2002 | January 15, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Business is booming! Businesses always appreciate close direction from bureaucrats. Businesses go out of their way to search out government guidance. Why it's amazing that business got by for the first few hundred years in this country without the help of their betters in DC.

Posted by: jy151310 | January 15, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

To IQ168 who wrote:
To Bcarmada2 who wrote "The stock market is up nearly 50% in the 2 years since Obama took office,?" The stock market was 14,000 Oct. 2008 (GWB was prez), it is now around 11,500. That's DOWN over 20%. Are you a 'gra-e-ate' of a 'publik skool' in the blue state northeast?

Wow. Cherry pick your facts much do you? mid Jan 2009 when Obama took office the S&P was 850 and the Dow was 8250, so yes the market is up 50% since Obama took office. GWB was the president in office when the stock market lost 40% of its value so I think it is fair to say GWB was the "bad for business" president.

And by the way, I did not vote for Obama.

Posted by: wrfarm1 | January 15, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

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