It was refreshing to read an Op-Ed about overregulation in the Washington Examiner today. Presidential candidate Jeb Bush is absolutely correct that the explosive expansion of regulations during Obama’s Administration has been a major factor in the tepid economic recovery. I enjoyed seeing a candidate speak to this issue. Below are his remarks in full:
“President Obama has presided over a massive expansion of the federal government during his six and half years in office. He shepherded Obamacare into law — a $1.7 trillion spending bill that vastly increased Washington’s role in the healthcare industry. He has raised taxes by nearly $2 trillion, while adding $8 trillion to the national debt. The president has also imposed more than 2,500 new regulations on the American economy that carry a staggering price tag of $670 billion.
It should come as no surprise then that our economy has limped along during the Obama presidency. The anemic two percent rate of growth on his watch is one of the weakest recoveries in American history and it has resulted in labor force participation falling to a 38-year low. Middle class families’ incomes have fallen by $2,000 and there are six million more people living in poverty today than when Barack Obama took the oath of office.
Right now, federal regulations cost our economy $1.9 trillion a year. This works out to an average of $15,000 per household. We need to cut excessive federal red tape and unleash the entrepreneurial spirit in our nation.
Obama-era regulations such as those in Dodd-Frank, Obamacare, and his War on Coal are having a chilling effect on our economy. As president of the United States, I will conduct a spring cleaning of existing regulations to get rid of the ones that are too costly or not providing value to the American people. I will establish a regulatory budget that ensures that for every new dollar of regulations we impose on the American people we cut a dollar of existing regulations somewhere else. I will appoint judges to the judiciary who are committed to reining in regulatory excesses and preventing unelected regulators from exceeding the intent of Congress.
Finally, I will sign into law the REINS Act, which will provide another check on executive agency regulatory authority. The REINS Act would ensure that major rules and regulations are approved by Congress before they can take effect.
Regulations act as a hidden tax on the American people. Reining in their cost is just as important as reducing taxes. When coupled with my bold plan to reduce tax rates and simplify our tax code, my regulatory reform agenda will help drive America to four percent annual growth. Together, these policies will result in the average family seeing their income increase by $3,000 and their tax burden decline by $2,000. This is a significant boost in a middle class family’s budget that will make it easier for them to pay the mortgage, buy groceries, save for college and build a nest egg for retirement.
I know how to do this, because as governor of Florida, I cut taxes every year, by $19 billion total. I streamlined regulations and made my state the national leader in small business creation. During the final seven years of my governorship, Florida led the nation in job creation. Our unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent and we added 1.3 million new jobs. Over the course of my full two terms in office, Florida averaged 4.4 percent economic growth.
Secretary Hillary Clinton will double down on the massive expansion of taxes, debt and regulations we have seen under President Obama. I am offering the country a different vision that will empower entrepreneurs and American businesses to grow and provide better wages and benefits to the American people. I look forward to having the debate with Hillary Clinton and her allies on the defeatist Left about how best to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit in America and provide a boost to a middle class that hasn’t seen its wages rise in 15 years.”