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Regulatory uncertainty killing American business, investment

The same non-profit group who wasted no time in lobbying new members of Congress to slash federal spending — by blanketing Ronald Reagan Washington International Airport with print ads in time for this week’s freshman orientation session — unveiled today a quirky new web spot addressing the nation’s “uncertain” economic environment.

The video, which features a bullish “boss lady” who opens beer bottles with her teeth, “is a joke,” but “its message is not,” a release by the group, Bankrupting America, reads. “Washington’s rhetoric and policies have been creating a damaging environment of uncertainty for businesses.”

Indeed, ambiguity over business’ new regulatory burdens — from the president’s overhaul of the health care sector, financial regulatory reform and the near-certain expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts — have upended the private sector, concerned that expansions and the costly investments associated with it might break the bank.

A recent report by the Heritage Foundation revealed that if the White House blocks a deal to extend all the Bush era tax cuts — including those governing rates on capital gains, dividends and estate taxes, which are scheduled to expire on December 31 — the economy would produce 238,000 fewer jobs in 2011. For the next decade, the lapse would markedly stall job creation, producing on average 693,000 fewer jobs annually.

Even as businesses have seen marginal rebounds in profits, like the one featured in the new advertisement, decision makers are unable — many unwilling, for good reason — to reinvest as legislators and the Administration use business as their whipping boy.

“When business lack clarity, they can’t plan ahead — choking expansion, investment and job creation,” the ad’s funders warn.

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