No Certainty, No Recovery

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

John Stossel fact checks some recent remarks on the budget by President Obama and, along the way, captures some of the uncertainty businessmen are facing during our economic "recovery":

This post-recession economic recovery is the slowest ever. Usually, after a recession, the cost of labor drops, and companies rush to hire so they can profit as the economy improves.

This time, employers looked at a thousand new regulations, unknowable new rules and taxes coming from Obamacare, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Labor Department and so on. They decided: "I better not try."

May I hire interns to see if I like them before offering them long-term jobs? No. It may not be legal to employ interns anymore.

May I build a pipeline? Maybe. But the Environmental Protection Agency must approve. And state utilities. And state environmental officials. And the State Department. And the White House. And ... who knows whom else?
Already-existing taxes and regulations are bad enough, but at least they are known quantities. The uncertainty that comes with the prospect of new taxes and regulations -- and with having to justify one's decisions to the satisfaction of some third party -- makes long-range planning nearly impossible.

-- CAV

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