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After reading President Obama’s opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal,Towards a 21st-Century Regulatory System, we’re convinced that President Obama must be reading and listening to at least some of what we’ve said.
President Obama opens by praising free market capitalism:
For two centuries, America’s free market has not only been the source of dazzling ideas and path-breaking products, it has also been the greatest force for prosperity the world has ever known. That vibrant entrepreneurialism is the key to our continued global leadership and the success of our people.
The President further went on to criticize excessive government intervention and regulation, calling them “unreasonable burdens on business — burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs.” Previously, we wrote about President Obama looking towards the concept of supply-side economicsto help reduce the national debt. In reading his Wall Street Journal piece, it appears that he is embracing the supply-side economic concept of removing government hinderances to the production of goods and services, which can help lead the country to greater prosperity. President Obama then mentions his new executive order:
This order requires that federal agencies ensure that regulations protect our safety, health and environment while promoting economic growth. And it orders a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive. It’s a review that will help bring order to regulations that have become a patchwork of overlapping rules, the result of tinkering by administrations and legislators of both parties and the influence of special interests in Washington over decades.Where necessary, we won’t shy away from addressing obvious gaps: new safety rules for infant formula; procedures to stop preventable infections in hospitals; efforts to target chronic violators of workplace safety laws. But we are also making it our mission to root out regulations that conflict, that are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb.
The executive order from the President makes it clear that he is interested in reducing government involvement in the free market and eliminating rules and regulations that are bad for business and bad for the economy. President Obama cites removing regulations that stifle job creation, making it clear that he somewhat understands the American people believe job creation should be a top priority for the country.
President Obama seems to also be taking a hint from Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in indicating that the American people must be listened to when developing rules and regulations. President Obama wrote that moving towards a better regulatory system for the country requires “writing rules with more input from experts, businesses and ordinary citizens.” Additionally, the President suggests “using disclosure as a tool to inform consumers of their choices, rather than restricting those choices,” indicating that he understands that the American people should be free to make their own decisions instead of having the government make decisions for them.
President Obama, who is the first United States President to be on Twitter and the first to utilize a smartphone (reportedly, a BlackBerry), also called for “means making sure the government does more of its work online, just like companies are doing.” The President further noted that the federal government would focus on “getting rid of absurd and unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money.” In the private sector, using technology to eliminate paper has resulted in a savings of time and money, and also created new jobs. It is good for the American people that President Obama understands the need to utilize ideas proven in the private sector in the federal government.
As an example of fixing government regulation, President Obama pointed to the EPA and saccharin:
…the FDA has long considered saccharin, the artificial sweetener, safe for people to consume. Yet for years, the EPA made companies treat saccharin like other dangerous chemicals. Well, if it goes in your coffee, it is not hazardous waste. The EPA wisely eliminated this rule last month.
While many who make up President Obama’s base on the left may balk at the idea of reducing government regulation and intervention in order to grow the economy, President Obama is wise to embrace supply-side economic principles. After all, they worked during the 1980s when Ronald Reagan was President. As written about yesterday, former Vice President Dick Cheney suggested that President Obama will be a one-term President. However, if President Obama continues to listen to the American people, adopts more moderate positions, and successfully turns the economy around, he could win the votes of some “Obama Republicans” back and retain “Reagan Democrats.” Indeed, if the President acts properly, American people might just vote in 2012 to give him four more years.