That favorite time of year is here and I’m not talking about Christmas, but rather tax season. These words are enough to send shivers down our spines, especially with the ever-expanding, ever-changing, complex tax rules.
Most of us know from personal experience that completing our taxes is burdensome, time consuming, frustrating and we just wish it would go away!
Considering the amount of record keeping an individual or a family must do over the course of the year just to file their taxes, one can only imagine the regulatory burden the Federal Government puts on a business.
To exist and stay in business, companies must comply with tax laws and must follow, on a day-to-day basis, all the government’s rules and regulations. To make matters worse, companies must also stay informed on all pending laws that could affect their industry. Each new requirement passed down by politicians and bureaucratic agencies reduces company’s profit as it takes time, supplies and money to stay in compliance.
Senator Mike Kelly from Pennsylvania had this to say while speaking to the Education and the Workforce Committee in Washington, “Talk to the small banks. They’re scared to death to do anything. Why, because their government has such an onerous regulation … Because the rules and regulations for the legislation that have been put through hasn’t [sic] even been written!”
In other words, why would any business invest money to create new products or services if they knew a few months down the road that a government agency (e.g. FDA, EPA) would change the rules forcing them to redo everything or risk severe penalties?
If I as a homeowner was considering adding a deck onto my house, but there was talk at city hall of banning certain types of deck material; I can say with all certainty that I would wait for the final law. I would not buy the materials, and I wouldn’t hire anyone to build the deck, as I wouldn’t want to waste my money having to redo everything if a change were made.
With every new set of regulations, how many businesses are impacted? How much money will businesses have to redirect from productive activity to follow these new rules?
According to the Heritage Foundation, from the beginning of the Obama Administration to mid Fiscal Year of 2011, regulators have inflicted $38 billion in new costs on the American people. This is more than any comparable period on record!
To make matters worse, all of this regulation increases the size of our Federal Government and our debt, (over $15 trillion and growing), as government regulators are then hired to make sure businesses are following these new laws. Thus we have new bureaucratic agencies, new budgets, new support staff, etc. The list goes on and on.
These regulatory costs don’t just affect the bottom line for a company but they affect all of us, as these costs are generally passed onto the consumer in the form of higher prices or fewer product choices. Products such as light bulbs, cars, mattresses, toilets and ovens all have government mandates requiring various standards, and consequently these items cost significantly more. The higher prices are essentially a hidden tax to all of us.
While some government regulation is good, excessive regulation is stifling to our everyday freedoms and our economy.
Section 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as Obamacare, requires restaurants and owners of vending machines to disclose the calorie content for certain items. Is our Federal Government helping or hindering by requiring this disclosure, even when an independent study showed that having this information available didn’t change the purchasing behavior of the customer? 
In fact on the Federal Register at one of the government’s own websites, the following statement was made in regards to the vending machine food labeling:
These studies suggest that calorie information often lacks salience, or relevance, for consumers at the time of purchase and consumption, even though they may experience regret about their decisions at a later date. This tendency may explain why consumers have not generally demanded calorie and other nutrition information for food sold from vending machines before, or at, the point of purchase, even if they may, at a later point in time, value that information.
If I am to understand this correctly the consumers haven’t asked for this information, the vendors don’t want to incur the extra costs, and even if the nutritional labels are there it doesn’t change the food choices a consumer makes. Why is our tax money being used to regulate this?
Apparently Washington has decided that we are fat and unhealthy and it is their job to do something about it, even if it’s costly and doesn’t work!
Perhaps if we didn’t have to spend so much time sitting at our computers figuring out the complex tax code and regulatory laws, we could go on more walks.
This inefficiency, intrusion, and over-regulation by our government has got to stop if we want to see jobs created, businesses grow and our economy flourish. We must find the men and women running for office in the 2012 election who will remove these excessive and ridiculous regulations, and work to get these candidates elected. The time is now to end the rule of these runaway regulators.
 Rep. Mike Kelly’s Statement During Education and Workforce Committee Markup - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEArFmRDtrw
 The Heritage Foundation – http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/red-tape-rising-a-2011-mid-year-report
 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - http://www.fda.gov/food/labelingnutrition/ucm217762.htm
 American Journal of Preventive Medicine – http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797%2810%2900612-4/abstract
 Federal Register: April 6, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 66) - http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/2011-8037.htm