Washington spars over government regulations

@CNNMoney October 27, 2011: 5:17 PM ET
Washington spars over government regulations

Everybody just cool your jets.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Onerous government regulations are either strangling the U.S. economy and killing job creation ... or they're not.

In Washington, there is no middle ground.

On Monday, the White House called the idea that an uncertain regulatory environment was holding back hiring a "commonly repeated misconception."

If new regulations were a significant drag, the consequences would show up in data that measure business profits, workforce trends and investment levels, the government contends.

But that's just not happening, the Treasury Department said.

Republicans offered up their own evidence on Thursday, railing against "massive amounts of red tape raining down from the administration."

Regulation: Not the job killer GOP says

In a blog post, Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee cited a Gallup poll in which 22% of small business owners identified complying with government regulations as the most important issue they face.

"One of the biggest failures of the Obama Administration is its determination to rely upon theoretical academics rather than listen to those who deal with the reality of the administration's actions," the blog post said.

But in an economy with millions of moving parts, it's easy to name other factors that are having a negative impact on hiring.

A deeper dive into the survey cited by Republicans reveals that a lack of demand is really hurting small businesses. Twenty-seven percent of respondents cited low consumer confidence and slack demand as their biggest problem. Lack of credit is another significant drag.

And a quick look at Bureau of Labor statistics data on mass layoffs bolsters the claim that weak demand is playing an outsized role in the nation's stumbling recovery.

In the first two quarters of this year, employers reported only 2,085 new unemployment claims were attributed to government regulation, while 55,759 were tied to insufficient demand. To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.80%3.88%
15 yr fixed3.20%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.84%3.88%
30 yr refi3.82%3.93%
15 yr refi3.20%3.23%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Economic Calendar
Latest ReportNext Update
Home pricesAug 28
Consumer confidenceAug 28
GDPAug 29
Manufacturing (ISM)Sept 4
JobsSept 7
Inflation (CPI)Sept 14
Retail sales Sept 14
  • -->

    Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.