Friday, November 04, 2011

Regulation is this Halloween’s goblin

American entrepreneurs and small business owners have good reason to be scared this Halloween. According to a new Gallup poll, small business owners consider “complying with government regulations” to be the greatest problem they face. Why? Because the current administration and government bureaucrats simply can’t get enough of scaring the bejesus out of entrepreneurs with calls for more regulations. The March 2010 health care legislation (not-so-affectionately known as “Obamacare”) is an appropriate bogeyman. Rammed through Congress with little public support, it continues to cast a pall of uncertainty throughout the economy, as thousands of its implementing regulations have yet to be written. As a result, firms are holding back on hiring employees and engaging in new projects until they know how the rules will affect them. Of the legislation’s 907 pages, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) already has managed to turn just six of those, regarding the Medicare shared savings program, into a whopping 429 pages of new rules. At that rate, businesses can expect to face 71.5 regulations per page and almost 65,000 new regulations as a result of this legislation. Businesses are certain about one thing: more taxes. According to a July 2011 poll by the National Federation of Small Businesses (NFIB), more than 75 percent of small businesses believe that their taxes will increase in order to pay for Obama’s health care overhaul. They just don’t know by how much...more

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