The Treasury Department is making a full-fledged effort to knock back Republican claims that overregulation is slowing down economic growth.
“[T]wo commonly repeated misconceptions are that uncertainty created by proposed regulations is holding back business investment and hiring and that the overall burden of existing regulations is so high that firms have reduced their hiring,” Jan Eberly, the Treasury’s assistant secretary for economic policy, penned in a blog post Monday, as first reported by POLITICO’s Morning Money.
Eberly argues that if regulatory uncertainty was indeed hurting economic growth, there would be indications of this in a number of areas, including business profits, trends in the work force and business investment.
“None of these data support the claim that regulatory uncertainty is holding back hiring,” she maintains.
As Eberly points out in the blog post, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner made the same argument in a Senate hearing last week, saying, “I don’t think there’s good evidence in support of the proposition that it’s regulatory burden or uncertainty that’s causing the economy to grow more slowly than any of us would like.”
Blasting existing and proposed regulations has been a familiar line of attack for Republicans against the Obama administration, despite action taken by the White House recently to review and cut excessive or ineffective rules.
“We’re going to do everything we can to stop this regulatory onslaught that’s under way,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in September. “It is hurting our economy and it’s hurting the ability of the American people to find jobs.”
The GOP has used its weekly address to consistently lash out against excessive regulations, including earlier this month when Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) warned that there are “unnecessary and unreasonable regulations that hurt jobs in some of our nation’s most critical industries.”
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