Sometimes, I think of our state and federal government as a bad boss: each barks an order, gives you an unrealistic deadline and doesn’t have a clue how you’ll make it happen, but if things aren’t absolutely perfect, there’ll be heck to pay.
That’s why I want to commend U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus for co-sponsoring the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2013. Officially known as H.R. 2542, the bipartisan measure would make federal agencies stop and think before imposing rules that affect America’s job creators, its small businesses.
Basically, H.R. 2542 would require all federal agencies, including independent agencies, to discuss proposed rules with small-business owners in order to come up with rules that don’t impose an unreasonable burden on employers.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau already are obliged to hold these panels. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, this approach helped save employers $11.7 billion in fiscal 2011.
Imagine the savings if every agency was required to think before it acted.
If the Regulatory Flexibility Improvement Act becomes law, it would result in a big change in how Washington operates.
Every year, thousands of new regulations are proposed by our government, costing the U.S. economy jobs and untold amounts of revenue. Today, there are more than 4,000 federal regulations in the pipeline, 854 of which would directly affect small businesses.
It’s no wonder a 2012 survey by the National Federation of Independent Business found that 90 percent of America’s small-business owners support reforming the current regulatory system. People have had enough of the political inertia. President Obama, Congress, Democrats and Republicans all share some of blame for the slow economic recovery and the red tape our businesses face each day.
In January of 2011 President Obama said his Administration was “firmly committed to eliminating excessive and unjustified burdens on small businesses, and to ensuring that regulations are designed with careful consideration of their effects, including their cumulative effects, on small businesses.”
The fact is the majority of small business owners and manufacturers agree that the United States’ own laws, regulations, rules, taxes, and fees are more harmful to their business than competition from abroad.
Nearly three-quarters of U.S. voters believe that businesses and consumers are over-regulated. They know that America needs greater transparency, objectivity and accountability in our federal and state regulatory processes.
They know that the results of smart and substantial regulatory reform would be a huge boon to our economy. They understand that America would experience increased investment, greater economic growth, improved employment and most importantly,
brighter future for all.
Here at home, California is the most heavily regulated state and is in desperate need of reform. That is why NFIB/CA is supporting AB 1098 by Assemblymember Quirk-Silva, which requires the State Office of Small Business Advocate to conduct a study every five years on the cost of state regulations on small business. Our government leaders need to see what their decisions are costing the economy.
It’s time to address the serious problems that Washington and Sacramento bureaucracy has created in recent years.
Representative Bachus’ and Assemblymember Quirk-Silva’s bills are a step in the right direction.
We need to tell Washington and Sacramento to pass sensible regulatory reforms.
Our public officials must have the courage to ignore the entrenched special interest groups in both our state’s and nation’s capitols and finally do what’s best for small businesses.