Conference Policy News--Regulation Nation 29 Nov 2011


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Congressman Jeb Hensarling sets the record straight, using Bureau of Labor Statistics: “In 2010, 0.3 percent of the people who lost their jobs in layoffs were let go because of government regulations/intervention.‟ Or, as President Reagan once said, Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem. Facts are stubborn things. Government regulations and policies are killing the US economy. Meet Congressman Jeb Hensarling, a member of the Super Committee and hear a first-hand report on the ongoing budget battle. Join us Saturday evening Dec. 3 at 5:30 PM Trinity Family Church 9670 County Road 214/Southwest corner of I20 and 1641 Forney, TX Tickets $25 at the door.
    Regulation Nation Destroying Jobs, One Rule at a Time  November 29, 2011   “[R]ules have gotten out of balance, placing unreasonable burdens on business— burdens that havestifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs. ”     — President Obama ,  Wall Street Journal  op-ed, January 18, 2011 Last week  ‟s   ”Regulation Nation”  highlighted some of the economic fallacies in a recent Washington Post   story that attempted to belittle House Republicans‟  concern that government over-regulation is impairingthe economic recovery and inhibiting job creation. Another key point from the article meriting furtherattention is the mention of this piece of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data:  “ In 2010, 0.3 percent of  the people who lost their jobs in layoffs were let go because of „government regulations/intervention.‟”   Indeed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) keyed on this factoid in a floor speech two days later as he propounded the Republican  “myth”  that regulations affect jobs, saying, “only a tiny fraction of  layoffs have an ything at all to do with tighter regulation.”  But the survey data on which Sen. Reid andthe Washington Post  relied does not fit so neatly into the Democrat narrative when explored moredeeply. As Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow James Gattuso explained:  In each case in which such a “mass layoff” is identified, state authorities interview the employers involved, asking them (among other things) the reason for the layoffs. For thethird quarter (not “the past year” as Reid stated ), BLS reported that 0.3 percent of  respondents listed “governmental regulations/intervention” as the reason. The most common reason given for layoffs was “Slack work/insufficient demand/non -seasonalbusiness slowdown. ”   This might appear to be a straightforward process, but it is actually quite tricky. The firstproblem is that economic hardship does not come with labels. Employers know if theircosts are rising, but not necessarily whether it is due to new burdens imposed on theirsuppliers or other factors. They may know that they did not obtain the capital theyneeded, but not whether it was because investors had better opportunities or because of government financial rules. They will know if demand has slumped, but it is not so clearwhether it was because their product is valued less by the marketplace or becausegovernment rules choked off demand from customers. Despite the orderly and specificcategories provided by the BLS, the real-world causes are likely to be mixed, rather thanfit neatly into one column or another.Not only is the BLS data underlying the Democrat argument that regulations do not destroy jobs tenuous,the flip side of that coin is completely ignored  — excessive rule-writing and regulatory uncertainty can prevent  job creation by stifling economic growth.    Recall a recent Gallup survey asking 604 small business owners what they think is the most important problem facing small business owners today. P articipants‟    leading response was, “complying withgovernment regulations.”  Gal lup included this in its summary of the results: “Small -business owners'assertion that government regulations are the most important problem facing them today is consistentwith another recent Gallup poll (Oct. 6-9) in which 14 percent of Americans volunteered that reducedgovernment regulation is the best way to create jobs in the U.S. ”   Interesting how this perspective eludes the Washington Post  ‟s article and the narrative of Senator Reid. WHAT ARE HOUSE REPUBLICANS DOING? House Republicans are focused on continuing efforts to turn around the Obama economy by passingmajor elements of the  House Republican Plan for America‟s Job Creators  .This week the House isexpected to consider two pieces of legislation to rein in federal regulations. As part of the agenda torestore regulatory accountability, H.R. 3010, the Regulatory Accountability Act, would require agencies toassess the costs and benefits of regulatory alternatives and, in most cases, to adopt the least-costlyalternative to achieve the regulatory objectives of Congress. Additionally, H.R. 527, the RegulatoryFlexibility Act, would require federal agencies to identify and reduce the costs new regulations wouldimpose on small businesses. Both bills were introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and were approvedby the House Committee on the Judiciary. For questions or further information contact  Jon Hiler  at 6-2302.  
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