Frankly Speaking: Ending Red Tape Run Wild
One of the things I hear most often from my fellow Granite Staters is: “Can’t Congress do something about all that red tape Washington keeps imposing on us?” You’ve probably heard it, too. And with good reason. The federal government is in regulatory overdrive.
The Federal Register, the repository of government regulations, has bloated to 71,864 pages and counting. I enjoy a good page-turner as much as the next person, but I don’t know anyone with the patience to wade through all those pages of bureaucratic regulations.
Companies are forced to spend 118.8 million work hours annually filling out paperwork mandated by all those regulations. It would take 57,115 people working 40 hours a week for a full year just to fill out all those forms.
It would be bad enough if it stopped there, but it doesn’t. The cost of regulatory burdens imposed by the new rules enacted this year alone will cost businesses $92.2 billion.
The blunt truth is federal bureaucrats are placing a stranglehold on our economy. And it couldn’t come at a worse time for unemployed Americans.
Every dollar a business is forced to spend on regulatory compliance is a dollar diverted from creating a new job. Every dollar spent paying a worker to fill out all those forms is a dollar lost to expanding the company’s payroll and putting more people back to work.
A few months ago, I surveyed small business owners as part of my ongoing “Getting Granite Staters Back to Work” jobs initiative. Nearly 60% said over-regulation and excessive paperwork, combined with over taxation, is impeding their ability to create jobs. In addition, 52% also said limited regulation and lower taxes would protect jobs in another economic downturn.
Clearly, people are hurting because of the wave of red tape that keeps flowing out of Washington.
I’m working to end this wave of red tape run wild. I’m a cosponsor of H.R. 10, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. It would slam the brakes on federal regulators and return them to their proper boundaries.
Another issue is at stake, too. We are a nation of laws, and we are governed by officials we elect to serve us. We are not a country of servile subjects that bows to an all-powerful government that supposedly acts in our best interests. The government is subject to us, and follows mandates given by we, the people, not the other way around. Bureaucrats and regulators exist to serve the people, not to lord over them with fiats and mandates.
I’m actively resisting federal intrusion into our rights. For example, the first major piece of legislation I introduced upon coming to Congress was the Great Bay Community Protection Act, which would limit the EPA’s ability to impose restrictive mandates on local communities (such as requiring costly covered treatment works at water facilities).
The House has also passed more than two dozen bills that would lead to the creation of hundreds of thousands of badly needed jobs by removing oppressive government regulations. Unfortunately, all those bills are sitting idle in the Senate, which refuses to act on them.
Overregulation is more than a nuisance. It is hindering our economic recovery, it intrudes on our constitutional rights and our freedom, and it fosters resentment toward the federal government.
An old saying tells us, “There’s a time and a place for everything.” For my colleagues and I in the U.S. House, now is the time to put federal bureaucrats in their place. I urge the U.S. Senate and President Obama to join with us.
I look forward to reporting back to you in two weeks on the latest developments in Washington. In the meantime, if I can be of service to you, or if you want to share your thoughts, suggestions or concerns with me, please call either my district office in Manchester at (603) 641-9536 or my Washington office at (202) 225-5456, or contact me through my website at www.Guinta.House.Gov. You can also follow what I’m doing 24/7 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repfrankguinta and on Twitter at @RepFrankGuinta.
Until next time, please know that I am always on your side and am actively fighting for New Hampshire’s interests in Washington.