Obama Has Yet to Walk the Walk

February 7, 2011

President Obama’s speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today was supposed to be an attempt to mend fences with the U.S. business community.

President Obama will take a short walk from the White House across Lafayette Park to address the US Chamber of Commerce today in an attempt to mend strained relations between his administration and the business community. ” (Karen Travers, “Mending Fences? President Obama Addresses U.S. Chamber of Commerce,” ABC News, 2/7/2011) 

Obama has a great deal of mending to do. Suspicion persists among the business community due to the economic harm wrought by Obama’s “regulatory tsunami” and job-destroying policies.

“But he is not yet convinced that such steps will tame what he called the ‘regulatory tsunami,’among other problems, enough to stir the investment and the new hiring the administration seeks.


“‘That’s all up in the air,’ Mr. Josten concluded. ‘You’ve got to walk the talk.’


Mr. Josten dismissed Mr. Obama’s recently announced regulatory strategy, ostensibly intended to reduce unnecessary burdens on business. ‘It’s a rehash of Clinton’s, which was a rehash of Carter’s,’ Mr. Josten said.” (John Harwood, “Obama and U.S. Business Sheath Weapons for Now,”The New York Times, 2/6/2011) 

Obama offered his audience full of employers a “stout defense of government regulations” and refused to acknowledge that there even was a problem of excessive regulations, saying only that he would “fix them” “if” there are any at all:

“But to a polite, subdued audience he offered a stout defense of government regulations, even as he promised to eliminate those that are too burdensome. He reached back to history, invoking President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s outreach to corporate leaders and evoking the strains of self-sacrifice expressed by President John Kennedy.” (Jim Kuhnhenn, “Obama Says White House, CEOs Must Work Together,” Associated Press, 2/07/2011) 

“I’ve ordered a government-wide review, and if there are rules on the books that are needlessly stifling job creation and economic growth, we will fix them.” (“Obama’s Remarks at the Chamber of Commerce,” The New York Times, 2/7/2011) 

However, America’s workers and employers seem to have found them. Today House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) released nearly 2,000 pages of letters from private businesses and citizens detailing excessive Obama administration regulations that are limiting their ability to create jobs:

Issa Makes 1,947 Pages of Business Complaints About Obama Regulations Public. (“Issa Makes Submissions Reflecting Input from Job Creators on Regulatory Barriers to Job Creation Public,”Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 2/7/2011)


“The Environmental Protection Agency, which enforces rules that affect the U.S. economy from factories to farms, is the No. 1 target of complaints from business groups collected by House Republican leaders.


EPA rules were cited more than those from any other agency in more than 100 letters sent by trade associations, businesses and some conservative groups to House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) in response to his call for businesses to identify regulations they deemed burdensome, according to documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal…

Groups complained about dozens of other proposed and existing EPA regulations in letters viewed by the Journal, including the agency’s plans to tighten limits on emissions of some pollutants from industrial boilers, ground-level ozone, mountain-top mining, cooling water intake structures, the level of nutrients in Florida waters, and pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay.” (Louise Radnofsky, “Business Groups’ Target: EPA,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/7/2011)