Last week, President Obama released his 2014 budget proposal, which claims the regulations issued during his first term created $91 billion in benefits for the economy. In addition, the proposal noted that the Administration would continue to simplify existing regulations to ease regulatory burdens. Yet, small business owners across the nation continue to feel the negative consequences of regulations every day and are waiting patiently for this administration to take real regulatory reform action.
While President Obama’s budget claims that his regulatory reforms have greatly benefited the private sector, small business owners across America still haven’t experienced these benefits. NFIB’s Small Business Economic Trends Report in February found that red tape, tied with taxes, to be the #1 most important problem facing small business owners. In addition, small business owners’ confidence fell in March due to the regulatory and economic uncertainty facing small business owners.
The administration notes in the budget that it is working to streamline and simply the regulatory system, yet it continues to propose and finalize regulations at an astounding rate. According to a recent report, the federal repository for regulatory changes (regulations.gov) posted 6,120 regulations and notices in the last 90 days of the President’s first term – an average of 68 a day. While the administration is touting the supposed benefits of these regulations, small business owners are left scrambling to understand how these regulations will impact them financially and operationally.
Small business owners want action on regulatory reform – and so far – this administration’s promises and claims haven’t changed anything for small business owners. According to a recent Gallup Poll, 65% of Americans predict 2013 will be a year of economic difficulty. This is one of the more negative responses to this question since Gallup first asked it in 1965.
Good reform should produce science-based, cost-effective regulations capable of withstanding objective scrutiny during formulation and after implementation. Reform should include: risk assessment, cost-benefit analysis, peer review, judicial review, and value compliance over enforcement. If implemented, these commonsense reforms will bring real benefits, not just claimed, estimated monetary benefits, to American small business owners.