American Elephants

The Crushing Weight of an Intrusive Government by The Elephant's Child

EPA Area Administrator Al Armendariz’s speech, captured on video, proposed the example of crucifying the first five people among the non-compliant to get everyone to fall in line. Supposed to be amusing. The video was quickly removed by the environmental activist who uploaded it. The White House is not pleased about the “crucify” bit. But what is important to notice, is not the immediate effect upon the non-compliant who quickly get in line, but the larger effect on the economy in general.

American business, Small Business Association, Chamber of Commerce, all the organized groups of small businessmen have complained publicly and privately about the fear and uncertainty created by government regulation and uncertainty about increasing taxes and healthcare mandates. Federal officials see that they have not added regulations for Widget Makers, or packaging people, or any of hundreds of different occupations and do not understand.

The Widget Maker, however, looks at the Gibson Guitar Company attack and expects that the next time it may be widgets. He sees no reason, no justified assault, other than a grasp for power. He reads about the waivers from ObamaCare being granted to unions and wonders how he can pay for sharply higher health care costs for his workers. You have a whole government with no understanding that small business is constantly worried about their ability to stay in business, get a business loan, and increase sales — and the government clearly informs him that they are not on the side of business, have no understanding nor respect for the free market, and no understanding of the problems that businesses face.

The Widget Maker watched when the government decided that the auto industry could not be subjected to our usually successful bankruptcy laws, and took over the industry, handing off portions to the unions and to Italian car makers,  putting the separate businesses who were linked to the car companies out of business, and putting their own buddies in the executive suite. That told thousands of businesses across the country that there was no limit to what this particular government felt free to do. Time to hunker down and avoid getting noticed.

Preliminary GDP reports mean that the growth outlook for the second quarter is even worse than expected, and the ratio  of Debt/GDP was 100.8%. Not a pretty picture, but the report is only preliminary and will be revised a couple of times, probably downward.  Businessmen keep an eye on this sort of thing as well. Hope is all very well, but businessmen worried about the bottom line will take the risk of hiring and growing when the risk seems promising.  The cost of hiring and growing has gone up sharply under the Obama administration.  This administration has no clue that is the result of their efforts.

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