John Stossel has a good piece on how uncertainty is hindering the recovery.  He writes:



Why isn’t the economy recovering? After previous recessions, unemployment didn’t get stuck at close to 10 percent. If left alone, the economy can and does heal itself, as the mistakes of the previous inflationary boom are corrected.


The problem today is that the economy is not being left alone. Instead, it is haunted by uncertainty on a hundred fronts. When rules are unintelligible and unpredictable, when new workers are potential threats because of Labor Department regulations, businesses have little confidence to hire. President Obama’s vaunted legislative record not only left entrepreneurs with the burden of bigger government, it also makes it impossible for them to accurately estimate the new burden.


In at least three big areas — health insurance, financial regulation and taxes — no one can know what will happen.


New intrusive rules for health insurance are yet to be written, and those rules will affect hiring, since most health insurance is provided by employers.


Thanks to the new 2,300 page Dodd-Frank finance regulatory act, The Wall Street Journal reports, there will be “no fewer than 243 new formal rule-makings by 11 different federal agencies.” These as-yet unknown rules will govern lending to business and other key financial activity.


The George W. Bush tax cuts might be allowed to expire. But maybe not. Social Security and Medicare are dangerously shaky. Will Congress raise the payroll tax? A “distinguished” deficit commission is meeting. What will it do? Recommend a value-added tax?


Who knows? But few employers will commit to a big investment with those clouds hanging over our heads.


This is a topic IWF has been writing about too.  Too big government is the enemy of economic growth, but perhaps an even bigger enemy is not knowing the shape that too big government will take. Instead of more stimulus, Washington should be focused on reducing government’s burden and clarifying the rules of the game so the businesses know the conditions they will operate under for years to come.