Free Market Reaction to the State of the Union

Contact: Richard Morrison, 202.331.2273

Washington, D.C., February 2, 2005—President Bush’s State of the Union address tonight will expound his vision of an “Ownership Society,” in which all Americans become invested in their own future success and prosperity. White House observers are familiar with the President’s emphasis on tax and Social Security reform as a means of empowering average Americans.

But policies that grow personal empowerment and ownership extend beyond Social Security and tax reform.  The labyrinth of federal regulations that impact the lives and livelihoods of all Americans must be reformed to achieve the ownership society the president envisions.  Tort reform, environmental regulation, telecommunications policy and the future or the Food and Drug Administration all impact the ownership individuals  and families can exercise over their lives and their futures.

Regulatory Reform:  Along with curtailing the ballooning federal budget and deficit, the administration should also make it a priority to scale back the $800 billion annual federal regulatory burden  hampering the growth of the economy and small businesses.

Technology:  The Bush administration should re-examine the role of the Federal Communications Commission and its control over rapidly developing technologies, so that all consumers can benefit from expanded choice.

Environmental Policy:  The administration should work towards extending market institutions that help conservation efforts by shoring up property rights.

•  Finance & Investment: Much of Bush’s agenda, from Social Security reform to continued economic recovery, hinges on a vibrant stock market in which entrepreneurs having access to capital. This is threatened by regulations and laws  like  Sarbanes-Oxley.

Privacy & Security: Some administration policies post-9/11 undermine the ability to protect personal, digitized information. But private sector initiative in authentication and security can be far  more effective than government efforts.  

For further comment on such issues and what the Bush administration and Congress can do in the next four years to reform regulatory policy and help realize the vision of a free, prosperous and confident future  that offers new choices  un constrained by old rules, contact analysts at the Competitive Enterprise Institute today and this evening.


Fred L. Smith, Jr.




Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr.

Vice President for Regulatory Policy



Myron Ebell

Director of Global Warming Policy



Marlo Lewis

Senior Fellow, Environmental Policy



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