by Max Brantley
More cartoon-quality legislating from U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin. He has legislation — going nowhere — to stop new government regulations. Thanks to Republican dishonesty, many American voters do believe that regulations are the cause of economic ills. Lack of sufficient financial regulation, in fact, may be one of the biggest causes of economic ills. We let the banks run wild, bailed them out and provided no recompense to consumers while the execs pocketed millions.
Regulations also protect air, water, consumers, rights. Tim Griffin is about protecting corporations, not people, particularly from rules to curb pollution. See his list of most offensive regulations in his news release:
BUT WAIT: Before we go on to the news release, I just got a photo of groundbreaking for the West Little Rock Fire Station. Among those wielding a shovel is Griffin's district director Carl Vogelpohl. The station is being built with $2 million federal stimulus money. Or to use Tim Griffin's standard cartoon-quality description, "failed federal stimulus money." Whaddya bet Timmy himself will be at the shovel for stimulus-financed improvements to the high profile I-430/630 interchange.
UPDATE: I asked Griffin's office about celebrating stimulus-funded work while criticizing it. His press aide Jonathan Samford responded:
The firefighters and the residents of Little Rock are the Congressman's constituents, and he supports them regardless of the fact that the stimulus failed to create the jobs promised,” said Jonathan Samford, a spokesman for Rep. Griffin.
TIM GRIFFIN NEWS RELEASE
Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) has filed legislation to freeze the Obama Administration’s ability to issue new major federal regulations. The Job Creation and Regulatory Freeze Act of 2011 (H.R. 3194) would place a moratorium on regulations until January 20, 2013.
“I recently hosted the Second District Jobs Conference in Little Rock, where over 60 business and community leaders shared their perspectives on creating jobs in Arkansas,” Griffin said. “Job creators made it clear that excessive regulation is the single biggest obstacle to job creation.”
Griffin says his bill would curb job-killing regulations.
“This legislation, which is only four pages long, would immediately eliminate much of the regulatory uncertainty job creators are facing,” Griffin said. “This year alone, over 62,500 pages of new regulations have been added to the Federal Register, and according to the Small Business Administration, annual compliance costs drain over $1.75 trillion from our economy.”
During the jobs conference, Susan Gunaca, owner of 10 International House of Pancakes restaurants throughout Arkansas, highlighted the burden she and her employees face due to excessive regulation.
“As a business owner today, I'm in a constant posture of defense,” Gunaca told Arkansas Business during the event.
“Also, at the jobs conference Arkansas’s leading energy suppliers outlined the devastating impact excessive regulation could have on our economy,” Griffin said. “They explained how proposed EPA regulations could shut down Arkansas power plants and increase energy rates by up to 25 percent, burdening Arkansas families and job creators.”
A poll conducted by the independent, non-profit group Public Notice, indicates that nearly 60 percent of Americans think “additional federal regulation on businesses put the average American worker at risk of job loss.” In addition, 3-in-4 Americans agree that the costs of excessive regulation could prompt businesses to move operations overseas where there is a more jobs-friendly business environment.
“Reasonable regulation is needed to keep our communities safe and clean,” Griffin said. “But excessive regulation is burying Arkansas's job creators under a mountain of red-tape, and that’s killing jobs. Giving our job creators the confidence to expand their businesses and hire additional employees is critical to strengthening our economy.”
Griffin’s bill targets major regulations, those imposing at least a $100 million cost to the economy, and exempts regulations that are needed to address “an imminent threat to human health or safety, or any other emergency,” as well as those designed to address certain law enforcement, military and foreign affairs matters, and those designed to encourage job growth.
H.R. 3194 has already received seven cosponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, of which Griffin is a member. A list of the top ten job-destroying federal regulations can be found here.