“You didn’t build that” is apparently a self-fulfilling policy goal of the Obama administration, based on findings from a new report by the National Association of Manufacturers’ W. Mark Crain and Nicole V. Crain. According to the Association:
Manufacturers are the backbone of our nation’s economy and employ more than 12 million men and women who make things in America. To maintain manufacturing momentum and encourage hiring, the United States needs government policies more attuned to the realities of global competition.
But it’s not just big companies adversely affected by federal regulations. According to the study authors:
U.S. federal government regulations cost an estimated $2.028 trillion in 2012 (in 2014 dollars), an amount equal to 12 percent of GDP. Regulatory costs are distributed across major business types and among firms of different sizes; the findings of this report indicate that compliance costs fall disproportionately on small businesses. Table 1 summarizes the incidence of costs by firm size based on aggregate data for all sectors of the U.S. economy.
Considering all federal regulations, all sectors of the U.S. economy and all firm sizes, federal regulations cost just less than $10,000 per employee per year in 2012 (in 2014 dollars). Small firms with fewer than 50 employees incur regulatory costs ($11,724 per employee per year) that are 17 percent greater than the average firm. The cost per employee is $10,664 for medium-sized firms and $9,083 for large firms. These estimates are consistent with prior studies completed during the past 25 years, which have shown that the cost of regulatory compliance disproportionately affects small firms.
President Obama and his administration should start practicing a lot more “economic patriotism” by letting businesses work, instead of preaching at them for not wanting to be crushed by heavy-handed government.