This week, I was joined by state and local business leaders to discuss the harmful effects of overreaching federal rules and regulations. In making several stops throughout the area, this 'Regulations Tour' gave a face to the issue and offered a local perspective on the negative impact of misguided government edicts.
We began the day at an unfinished home in Summerville. Unfinished projects are examples of how lending policies have made it very difficult for builders to construct homes and for potential buyers to obtain financing for those homes. The constraints of Dodd-Frank are destroying a key part of the American dream.
Next, we went to Bulldog Hiway Express in North Charleston to get a better understanding of the cost to motor carriers and their drivers that would result from modifications of hours-of-service standards. With nearly 70 percent of all transported freight being moved by truck, the increased costs effect most everything American consumers purchase. With the documented safety improvements using current regulations, there seems to be no compelling reason for such a change.
At Blue Flame Gas in Mount Pleasant, local retailers of decorative vented gas logs explained the negative potential in reclassifying their products as Direct Heating Equipment. The associated compliance costs will raise the price of these goods and threaten the viability of some of the 55 businesses nationwide that manufacture decorative fireplaces and gas log sets.
We wrapped up the tour on the docks of Shem Creek at Geechie Seafood. Recreational and commercial fishermen united with suppliers to this industry to explain how our state's fishing industry is under attack from poorly written and implemented federal regulations. Such impractical rules, derived from questionable research, threaten the livelihoods of these men and women, many of whom have fished our state's waters for generations. These fishermen have the highest regard for preserving our aquatic species -- they want to fish next season too. Not one of them wants to overfish our waters. The restrictions have had a chilling impact on our hospitality industry -- in a city recently named the top tourist destination in the country.
As is typical, government's reaction to things is an over-reaction. The federal government has no idea of the unintended consequences of its decisions on business, industry, unemployment and the overall economy.
I appreciate all those local entrepreneurs who worked to highlight the many ways that our government is creating a poor business climate and acting as an impediment to job creation, throughout the First District. These same hurdles thwart the efforts of businesses throughout our state and the country.