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Blog: Strangled by Red Tape


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Since 2009, we have seen an unprecedented surge in federal regulations. In fact, according to the Republican staff of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee (JEC), this administration has expanded red tape by 52% in completed regulations that cost the economy at least $100 million annually, compared to the previous administration over the same time frame. In 2012 alone, there have been 41,662 regulations published. The biggest victim of this regulatory onslaught: America's small businesses.

During these tough economic times, federal regulations and its high costs, along with the steady threat of higher taxes, make it difficult for small businesses to invest and grow. Duplicative and burdensome regulations not only cost our small businesses more but it also creates uncertainties that freeze businesses from hiring new employees. This means fewer jobs and a much slower economic recovery.

Small business owners are this nation's catalysts for innovation and job creation, as they have created 64% of all new jobs in the past 15 years, according to the Small Business Administration. However, small businesses face an annual regulatory cost of $10,585 per employee, which is 36% higher than the regulatory cost facing large firms. Often times I hear small business owners in my district cite federal regulations, including the president's healthcare law, as the reason why they are not creating more jobs. According to a Chamber of Commerce Small Business Outlook survey, 78% of small businesses surveyed reported that taxation, regulation and legislation from Washington are making it harder for their business to hire more employees.

Entrepreneurs and small business owners have toiled and built their businesses and have helped to make America the most prosperous nation in the world. Yet, rather than provide incentives for these businesses to grow and create jobs, this administration continues to expand job-crushing regulations.

The slow economic recovery further demonstrates that the policies instituted by this administration have failed. How can we expect for a President who doesn't believe that business owners built their own business to grasp the harmful effects of red tape?

The federal government cannot, and should not, spend its way out of this economic recession, but it can create an environment in which small businesses and entrepreneurs are empowered to invest, take risks for growth, and create jobs. Returning our country on the road to economic prosperity will require one major component used by President Reagan during the 1981 -- 1982 recession: reining in regulations that hinder economic growth.

As I travel throughout the district, I have the privilege of witnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of Ohio's Fifth Congressional district. I truly believe we have the best workforce in the world, and I've seen it from our farmers, manufacturers, and small business owners, and our hometown banks. In addition to 33 jobs bills the House has already passed, with many cutting the excessive red tape strangling our small businesses, this week I join my colleagues to pass another piece of legislation that provides regulatory relief for small businesses. Specifically, the bill would reform the regulatory process to prevent any federal agency from taking a "significant regulatory action" until unemployment has reached 6% or less.

With the unemployment rate still above 8%, we need to put in place a fair system for job creators; one in which the government does not keep changing the rules. And, we can't help the job seeker by punishing the job creator with more government red tape.

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