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June 03, 2011
Originally published in National Review: The Corner
Today’s much weaker than expected employment numbers show that the president’s agenda of more regulation and increased spending has undoubtedly failed. However much money he throws at the problem, entrepreneurs are not going to start adding jobs to the economy while the burden of regulation is so high. Regulations cost the economy $1.75 trillion each year. It is regulation that is dragging us back to recession.
The president should instantly upbraid his cabinet members and agency heads for the derisory responses to his call for deregulatory efforts, which will barely scratch the surface of the problem. He should demand total regulatory relief to the tune of at least $500 billion a year, and make it clear that it’s just a start. His agency heads have so far found a sum two orders of magnitude smaller than that, a clear sign that they don’t understand what’s wrong with the economy.
The president should also be reining in his out-of-control union-relations boards. The National Labor Relations Board is trying to stop firms opening new factories, and the Railways Mediation Board is using Depression-era rules to intimidate airlines. This is the wrong action at the wrong time. If the president is serious about getting Americans back to work, he will stop putting barriers in the way of employers right now.