April 11, 2011

Renewing The Land Of Opportunity

Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo

The Federal Register, a publication of regulations and legal notices issued by federal agencies, ballooned to more than 82,000 pages by the end of last year, and small businesses are bearing a disproportionate share of this growing regulatory burden.  To truly improve our economy and sustain what America stands for-the land of opportunity-the federal government must quit heaping federal regulations on job-makers, America's small businesses.

 

Increasing federal regulations have a disproportionate impact on small businesses, which have fewer resources to devote to often redundant and bureaucratic red-tape requirements.  In a Small Business Administration (SBA) report regarding the cost impact of regulatory compliance on small firms, the SBA reported that federal regulations impose an annual direct burden of $970 billion on businesses, and the estimated per-employee compliance cost with federal regulations for businesses with fewer than 20 employees is $10,585, which is 36 percent higher than larger companies.  The SBA found that environmental regulation compliance costs small firms 364 percent more than their larger counterparts, and tax compliance costs are 206 percent more for small companies.  Further, the burden is increasing, as the health care law alone has been estimated to impose $50 billion worth of employer mandates. 

 

America's small businesses create lasting jobs, develop the innovations to meet new challenges, strengthen our communities and power our economy.  These businessmen and women fill the needs in a community, and contribute to both the economic well-being and social fabric of their communities.  Local businesses meet these needs not only through the products and services they provide, but also many support local charitable efforts.  Community businesses sponsor youth sports teams, contribute profits to help a family rebuild a home destroyed by fire, help fund a local animal rescue and more.  They truly contribute to the heart and soul of communities. 

 

To grow our economy and jobs, the federal government must get out of the way of America's small businesses and reduce federal overreach that is stifling our communities.  That is why I co-sponsored the Regulatory Responsibility for our Economy Act, S. 358, which would strengthen and codify the President's Executive Order from January 18 to ensure the President's commitment to review modify, streamline, expand or repeal significant regulatory actions that are duplicative, unnecessary, overly burdensome or would have significant economic impacts on Americans.  The legislation, introduced by Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), would ensure that regulations put forth by the Administration consider the economic burden on American businesses and ensure stakeholder input and promote innovation. 

 

Our country was built on its industrial spirit, making America a place where a sound idea and hard work can be built into a successful business and lasting jobs.  To renew this core principle, reversing the trend of piling a heavy regulatory burden on job generators is essential.  Just as our local communities embrace local jobs and services, the federal government should focus more on creating opportunities and less on bureaucratic obstacles. 

 

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