Mona Charen puts it very well when she says that an essential ingredient of economic growth is predictability, which is directly opposite of what the Obama administration seeks to provide.
Obama touts his small-business tax credits, but in his stimulus bill, the proposed 2011 American Jobs Act, and other legislation, the tax incentives are temporary while the tax increases are permanent.
The Heritage Foundation estimates that the burden of regulations enacted during Obama’s first three years is five times the cost of rules enacted during the first three years under George W. Bush. The yearly cost of regulatory compliance for Bush’s policies was $8.1 billion. It’s $46 billion for Obama’s policies.
The regulatory drag goes beyond those compliance costs. The uncertainty about what government will require in the future is inhibiting expansion and risk-taking. The two marquee laws passed under this administration — the ironically titled Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank — are vast pools of dark matter.
There's a method to the madness surrounding this huge surge in federal regulatory power. By subjecting Americans to the whims of his federal bureaucracy, Obama positions himself to flex political muscle. Who gets a waiver? Who gets a government loan? Who gets audited? Who gets prosecuted? Obama has not been bashful about exercising his power to decide, to reward friends, to punish political enemies. Federal regulations represent the political nuts and bolts by which Obama had hoped to usher in those progressive majorities that would afflict us for generations.
But there is this side effect that Obama and his cronies hadn't counted on. The people most willing to risk their capital in a startup or a business expansion aren't willing to take unreasonable risk, and that's been killing the recovery and destroying Obama's re-election chances. Nobody wants to bet the farm on Obama's regulatory whim, especially when it has become so obvious that everything he does is aimed at saving his own job and nobody else's.
Obama is the unreasonable risk that Americans bet on in 2008. He recently confirmed what a terribly bad bet that was when he said, "If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen." It's beginning to sink in. Business leaders are Obama's natural enemies, subject to threats of punishment because by nature they tend to be insufficiently supportive of Obama's goals. The only thing Obama intends to build is a culture of dependency, dependency upon the whim of his bureaucratic thugs.
And so the unpredictability of Obama's regulatory actions has been met with a predictable response. And so we wait for the recovery that will never come as long as Obama remains in office.