Just what do the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. have in store for American businesses and families? A regulatory explosion unlike anything most people have ever seen.
At the EPA, Administrator Lisa Jackson has demonstrated in the past she is willing to use the regulatory power of her agency to cause energy prices to increase on American families. Early in the Obama Administration, Jackson used authority under the Clean Air Act to impose punishing regulations on emissions from coal-fired plants that provide electricity to millions.
After even some Democrats balked at the president’s attempts to pass Cap and Tax legislation regulating greenhouse gases because it would massively increase energy costs, Jackson and the EPA were undeterred. They set out to accomplish the same goals through the regulatory process they control. The potential political fall-out during a presidential campaign could be enormous, however, so this team chose another path.
The National Journal reports that in summer of 2011, the EPA was expected to announce new regulations related to pollution from coal plants but the White House political shop balked because of the fallout in Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, so the EPA went radio silent. Now that the election is over, the EPA is preparing to release a slew of regulations that will cause energy prices to skyrocket and kill a massive number of jobs.
The president’s “signature accomplishment,” the Big Government Goliath that is ObamaCare, requires its own dizzying maze of regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to clarify how states should implement the law. The required regulations deal with politically sensitive subjects, such as the type of benefits insurance plans must offer in order to participate in the program.
Afraid of the political consequences of turning the spotlight on the deeply unpopular health care takeover, the White House again chose to withhold the release of the new regulations until after the election. The result is that a slew of job-killing ObamaCare regulations will be added to the post-election deluge.
Zane Tankel, CEO of Applebee’s Restaurants for the New York metropolitan area (he oversees 40 restaurants with a minimum of 80 employees each, including one in Manhattan with 300 employees just by itself), told Fox Business he definitely sees a hiring freeze and it could be worse.
“If it's possible to do without cutting people back, I am delighted to do it, but that also rolls back expansion, it rolls back hiring more people, and in a best-case scenario, we only shrink the labor force minimally. Best case," he told the network.
There are other agencies with pent-up regulations just waiting to be dropped in the Federal Register. Agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) have many regulations that are yet to be released related to the Dodd-Frank financial reform of Wall Street. These regulations too will have a negative effect on the operations of businesses in the financial services sector.
While most Americans hope the President will work on job creation first and foremost, they must realize that their choices have consequences. The Obama Administration is clearly prioritizing thousands of regulations that will effectively kill jobs rather than create them. Welcome to Regulation Nation.
Bozell is the chairman of ForAmerica.org.