Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Patrick McLaughlin demonstrates the growth of federal regulation in the United States since 1950 by stacking books from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Patrick McLaughlin demonstrates the growth of federal regulation in the United States since 1950 by stacking books from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Big one-size-fits-all government regulations are choking our economy. That is what I hear when visiting with Iowans all across Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. I have heard from job creators of all sizes – large and small – about the negative impacts of onerous regulations and how they are holding them back from investing in themselves, growing their business, and hiring new employees.

During previous administrations, burdensome regulations were imposed on job creators in all sectors of our economy. Under eight years of President Obama, 27,000 pages were added to the federal register, where all federal regulations are published. Under President Bush, the register only grew 4,000 pages.

The regulations hit hardest on small and medium-sized businesses because it is harder for them to pay the costs associated with complying with these orders. All the paperwork, legal fees, and staff hours spent trying to understand mandates and implement regulations has a high cost and forces job creators to struggle to comply or close their doors.

Small businesses spend at least $12,000 a year attempting to comply with regulations and more than half of small businesses report having held off on hiring new employees due to the burdens these regulations place on them, according to a survey conducted by the National Small Business Association. The same survey found new businesses spend over $83,000 in regulatory compliance costs in their first year alone.

As I speak with job creators, they explain the need to reduce the burden placed on them from Washington. In Congress this year, I voted to overturn many of the most burdensome regulations put in place in the last days of the Obama administration.

President Trump has signed multiple executive orders rolling back unnecessary and burdensome regulations. Specifically, earlier this year the President signed an executive order requiring that for every new regulation, two must be eliminated.  Over 100 actions from the Trump administration are starting to shrink the overall regulatory burden on businesses of all sizes.

And the economy is responding.

As business leaders see regulatory rollbacks, they plan to increase hiring to take advantage of a more favorable business environment. When government gets out of the way, the economy will grow, creating jobs, increasing paychecks, and allowing hard-working Iowans to have peace of mind.

The optimism of small business owners reached an 11 year high in August, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. They see the opportunity to finally be able to invest in their business and hire new employees. By rolling back some of these regulations, we can allow businesses to spend that money on creating goods and services and hiring new workers instead of using it to satisfy the federal bureaucracy.

As I continue to hear from my bosses, the folks in the Third District, about burdensome, unnecessary, and duplicative regulations, I will take their voices to Washington and reduce government interference wherever possible. Iowans need a government working for their interests because for too long it seems as if we’ve been working for the government.

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