Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

U.S. Department of the Treasury: Regulatory Uncertainty Has Nothing To Do With Unemployment

And ANOTHER conservative talking point runs head first into DATA and ANALYSIS (my apologies to conservative Americans for the condescension inherent in recourse to credible knowledge).  It won’t stop self-proclaimed “private sector problem solvers” who are seeking the Republican nomination from continuing to repeat the canard, nor will the canard disappear from every floor speech and interview given by McConnell, Boehner, Kyl, DeMint, Cantor, and Ryan (damn I’m glad not to be British and have to refer to them as “the right honourable….”).

Anyway, here ’tis:

Last week at a Senate hearing Secretary Geithner said, “I’m very sympathetic to the argument you want to be careful to get the rules better and smarter, but I don’t think there’s good evidence in support of the proposition that it’s regulatory burden or uncertainty that’s causing the economy to grow more slowly than any of us would like.”

Economists from across the political spectrum have also weighed into this debate and reached the same conclusion.  Bruce Bartlett, a senior advisor in both the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, said that “no hard evidence” has been offered for claims that regulation is the “principal factor holding back employment.”  And in a recent Wall Street Journal survey of economists, 65 percent of respondents concluded that a lack of demand, not government policy, was the main impediment to increased hiring.

Nonetheless, two commonly repeated misconceptions are that uncertainty created by proposed regulations is holding back business investment and hiring and that the overall burden of existing regulations is so high that firms have reduced their hiring.

If regulatory uncertainty was a major impediment to hiring right now, we would expect to see indications of this in one or more of the following: business profits; trends in the workforce, capacity utilization, and business investment; differences between industries undergoing significant regulatory changes and those that are not; differences between the United States and other countries that are not undergoing the same changes; or surveys of business owners and economists.  As discussed in a detailed review of the evidence below, none of these data support the claim that regulatory uncertainty is holding back hiring.

Read the whole thing:

Once you have done this, you will qualify as either a condescending elitist or a dupe of George Soros.  But it should make it clear how hard we must fight against these liars.  These are not differences of opinion anymore.  Posturing has replaced problem solving.  And everything hangs in the balance.  


  1. HappyinVT

    Sec. Geithner is the evil, too, being a stooge for Wall St.

    Not that I believe newspapers are regulated like, say, banks but we’re bleeding people for a whole host of reasons none of which has anything to do with a regulation.

  2. jsfox

    FACTS!!! REAL NUMBERS!!! We don’t need no stinkin’ fact or numbers Paul Ryan said it was so and that’s good enough! I mean seriously any one who thinks “Atlas Shrugged” is a economic road map must certainly know what they are talking about . . . . Right?

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