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Obama's Deregulation Plea Called Bunk


If President Obama thought he was going to make new friends in the business community and among Republicans with his speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce yesterday, he was mistaken.

Within hours of the President’s remarks, the leading voice for small business and the largest fund-raising group on behalf of Republican candidates in 2010 were firing away at the highlight of the chamber address: Obama’s call for removal of “outdated and unnecessary regulations.”

“This is similar to what we heard in the State of the Union address.  And in both speeches, his actions don’t follow his words,” Brad Close, vice president of the National Federation of Independent Business told HUMAN EVENTS.  When we asked Close for a specific example of the President saying one thing and doing another when it comes to regulation, he replied without hesitation: “Craig Becker.”  Becker, a former counsel to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) who was given a recess appointment to the National Labor Relations Board, was recently nominated for a full term by President Obama.  According to the NFIB’s Close, “The NLRB is one of the worst examples of burdensome overregulation for small business in America, and Becker is one of the most ardent advocates of regulation.”

The NFIB has 350,000 members nationwide, and the average number of employees of the businesses that are members is 10.

“And it’s businesses like that which are hurt the most by regulation,” Close said.

Jonathan Collegio of Crossroads GPS, a 501(c)(4) that raised and spent more than $40 million on behalf of Republican candidates, seconded Close’s view of Obama’s address.

“If the President is serious about cutting back regulations, he needs to start by repealing the mountain of new regulations initiated by his own administration,” Collegio told us.

He cited a study by The Economist (“Red Tape Rising,” Jan. 20, 2011) that came to this conclusion:  In his first two years in office, the federal government issued 132 “economically significant” rules, according to Susan Dudley of George Washington University.  “That is about 40% more than the annual rate under both George Bush junior and Bill Clinton.  The regulatory workforce has grown 16% in Mr. Obama’s first two years in office, to 276,429.”