Federal Regulations are Destroying U.S. Industry
February 1, 2012
Everything from the price and availability of gas or electricity to whether you can afford to ship products by truck from your loading dock is jeopardized by a tsunami of federal regulations that now clog the U.S. economy.
The Obama Administration issued regulations on new businesses totaling 3,573 final rules in 2010, an increase over the 2009 total of 3,503. There are more than 4,200 new environmental, financial, labor and other rules pending on the federal docket today. At the beginning of 2012 there were 219 new rules pending issuance, each having an estimated implementation cost of at least $100 million. These were all reported in the “Federal Register” as proposed or final rules with their supporting studies, consuming 81,405 pages last year.
The U.S. manufacturing sector is hardest hit by this nonsense with the average regulatory cost burden (encompassing all types) on all firms amounting to $688,944. For small businesses alone, that’s $10,585 per employee. Eight final rules are estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cost over $1 billion each to implement. This is madness.
The unintended consequences exacerbates problems of the shrinking U.S. industrial base and “reshoring” of manufacturers from foreign locations. For example, final national air toxics standards affected 2,900 U.S. facilities, including chrome platers. Directly due to this rule, out of 11 suppliers in San Diego County, Calif., six processors went out of business, one closed plating aspects of the business, two moved across the border to Mexico and only two remain.
It is impossible to improve national unemployment problems with this approach to governance, which an overwhelming majority of the U.S. public rejects. Another example regards obfuscation of facts by the EPA and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with imposition of new rules on electric utilities that will retire 81 gigawatts of output, about 8% of existing national capacity. A little-known fact, articulated by Americans for Tax Reform, is that the true cost to Americans for our government (taxes plus regulations) amounts to 63.41% of national income. This is enough to make every citizen understand that socialists running European Union (EU) economies have a better grasp on government operation than those in America. Some EU governments cost less than America. In truth, U.S. citizens toil 231 days of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued rules to reduce the number of hours truck drivers can work, despite dramatically improved trucking industry safety, with the result that more union drivers must be hired. U.S. carriers must comply with the first stages of “cap and trade” carbon emission standards under “regulations” when trucks connect to air transporters, so Americans are at a self-imposed disadvantage.
The U.S. and EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) requires adherence to regulations that are not authorized by U.S. law. On Jan. 3, Cai Haibo, deputy secretary general of the China Air Transport Association, said that “China will not cooperate with the EU on ETS, so China will not impose surcharges on customers relating to emission taxes.” Submitting would cost China $123 million the first year and threefold more by 2020. Dubai Air and Lufthansa, the two largest long-haul carriers in the world, refuse to shoulder the costs of carbon-trading schemes. Why the U.S. is foolish enough to play in such games, other than that this Administration wants to encumber and destroy the American way of life and its history of industrial excellence, is perplexing.
There is one very dim light at the end of this tunnel. It is something each reader should endorse to their member of Congress, although it is weak and a preferred approach would simply halt this regulation mania. House bill H.R.2401 was introduced by John Sullivan (R-OK) and has 44 co-sponsors. It is titled the “Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation Act of 2011” and requires the President to “establish a committee” to study “cumulative and incremental impacts of covered rules and actions of the EPA” (see House Report 112-208).
Better yet, vote out every member of Congress who thinks this approach to controlling America is appropriate and beneficial.
You should be interested in learning about state and federal regulations to determine their merits and impact on your business. Following are some places to start regarding state and federal regulations.