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Posted at 1:30 PM ET, 12/13/2010

Mark Warner: anti-regulation, except in large doses

By Jennifer Rubin

In today's Post, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) decries the red tape that has been spooling out from the federal government, which, he argues, impairs growth and job creation:

Our economic recovery remains frustratingly sluggish, unemployment is still unacceptably high, and all of us should be concerned that leading U.S. corporations have remained on the economic sidelines over much of the past year instead of making new investments or hiring additional workers.

One reason often cited for this unwillingness to invest is executives' belief that Washington regulators are stifling fresh investment and discouraging innovation through new rules and requirements.

If Washington expects to partner with the private sector to lead the effort toward economic recovery, we must address the regulatory uncertainty felt by many of our small and large businesses.

Warner suggests that we should "require federal agencies to identify and eliminate one existing regulation for each new regulation they want to add." Wow, could that be retroactive?

I mean, Warner voted for the mammoth financial reform bill and for ObamaCare. Together those laws have thousands of new requirements, regulations and mandates on business. If Warner were really concerned that "Washington regulators are stifling fresh investment and discouraging innovation through new rules and requirements," why would he have voted for such regulation?

A report in the Wall Street Journal makes it clear how burdensome is the new health-care law:

Big employers faced with incorporating the first round of health-care changes next month are grappling with how to comply with the long list of new rules.

Many companies are hiring consultants to help sort though the mountain of new mandates, which include extending dependent coverage to children up to age 26, and may eventually result in covering more employees. Some are also considering changes to their plans--including pushing costs to workers.

There is also some concern about how to digest the sheer volume of paperwork.

"There's administrative burden just to try and understand the 2,400 pages of the document," says Jenn Mann, vice president of human resources at software maker SAS Institute Inc.

I think in-depth hearings on the topic of regulatory burdens on business are in order. Let's start with a listing of all of the new regulations imposed in, say, the last two years. Let's quantify all the costs imposed on businesses and, in turn, passed on to consumers (in the form of higher prices) and to workers (in the form of lower wages). Let's zero in on the two bills I mentioned above, since they are, far and away, the most intrusive and far-reaching regulatory measures passed in the last few years (maybe in decades). And then Warner and his colleagues can explain just how such legislation contributes to the "uncertainty that has kept the U.S. business community from participating more fully in our nation's economic recovery."

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 13, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  Senate Democrats  
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Jennifer, right about health care but completely wrong about Fin Reg. It was the LEAST intrusive most harmless regulation Wall Street could have imagined at the bottom of the financial crisis. However, Wall Street has learned from it's mistakes and cries crocdile tears in public over what causes rejoicing in private. Call it the Blankfein paradox.

The REALLY curious thing is if you had read the story below which I thought you had alluded to in another post.

"A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Trading in Derivatives"

Even an Obama administration CFTC can't change the way business is done, so don't cry for the poor bankers. The spirit of Wendy Gramm still lives!

Posted by: 54465446 | December 13, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The simple fact is that 68,000 new federal register pages each year is NOT freedom. Not by a long shot.

Much of the contents of the CFR comes to us directly from these alphabet soup bureaux that are unaccountable to the people when congress is unwilling to bring them to heel.

As Eric Cantor noted the amount of oversight done by the house has declined over the years. More oversight, more sunlight shed on the bureaux will infuriate the tax payers and lead to the roll back we so desperately need.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 13, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Amen Jennifer.

Your observations go to the heart of the problem with unlimited government. Advocates for more government often seem unable to see that each and every new rule imposes costs. As the number and intensity of rules increases, there will come at point where the additional costs inevitably outweigh the marginal benefits.

Some government will always be necessary, but laws and regulations are NEVER costless.

Posted by: TYoke | December 13, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Mark Warner is a hypocrite!! For someone who rallied behind reid and obamacare to now denounce red tape!!!!

he must be getting ready for another run in the senate...

Posted by: shidokan | December 13, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

If the burden is too high, the business can choose to not offer health care.

You can go to , a government site, and take your pick of all the available plans in your area.

Those of you who hate regulation should do that. Then you have no regulation at all!

Avraam Jack Dectis

Also, why does the government allow gang stalking groups to poison people? Seems like crimes against humanity would be the sort of thing you would not ignore.

Posted by: avraamjack | December 13, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

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