Ruling Out Growth

Posted in Weekly Newsletter on by .

small_pondDemocrats who purport to be dissatisfied with the pace of job creation in Wisconsin must be under the impression that Governor Walker runs the economy for all 50 states. That’s the only alternative to Democrats admitting their own policy ideas are the problem.

The truth is, job creation has been better in Wisconsin than in many other states, which is not to say it’s been great. But last Friday brought national employment numbers confirming what everybody already knew: The economy remains persistently sluggish and perilously close to recession territory.

What a surprise! Urged on by the White House, federal regulators have piled on expensive new rules raising the cost of starting and running a business (Sarbanes-Oxley), producing energy, (emissions crossing state lines, mercury, carbon dioxide, and last Wednesday an ozone rule the state’s leading business group says will cost thousands of Wisconsin jobs.

Recently finalized is a rule—now under court challenge—authorizing the EPA to regulate vast expanses of dry land as “waters of the United States.” In the offing is a rule on methane emissions from natural gas production and transportation, as if gas producers wanted a saleable product to leak away into the atmosphere. The list goes on.

Anticipation of bad things to come will surely take a toll on future investment plans, but no regulation has its full impact before it’s formally adopted and enforcement begins. The worst news about the Obama regulatory assault on the economy is that the most burdensome, job-killing regulations haven’t taken effect yet.

The only prospect of better news would be a new White House resident 16 months from now untying the Obama straitjacket. Democrats and the media will howl, but few will listen when all of a sudden, people start finding jobs.

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