Donald Trump has been saying for months that part of America’s problem is that we’re just not winning anymore – and you know – he’s right – sort of. We don’t win regarding trade deals or wars or whatever. As he states – the rest of the world is eating our lunch.
Well, not exactly.
As many others and I have attempted to explain (wars aside), we lose because of self-inflicted wounds – not from outside forces outflanking us, so to speak. Let me explain it this way.
There are two racers at a starting line about to compete in a 200 meter dash. It’s not rocket science. The fastest guy wins – that’s it. However, in this race, the track is not laid out equitably. The first sprinter has but one rule. Stay in your lane and run full out to the finish line. But the second racer is not so lucky. In front of him (or her, for all you feminists) there is a mud pit, a 15 ft cargo net and log obstacles. And to add insult to injury, the obstacles were set up by his own coaches. Now who do you think will win? Of course the sprinter who has no obstacles.
You may have guessed that the unfortunate second sprinter is America, the obstacles are regulations and the coaches represent the government. I wrote about how regulations are killing America in February. You may link to it here.
Now IBD has posted an article entitled, “Study: GDP Would Be 25% Bigger If Government Regulations Had Been Capped In 1980,” explaining how deep a hole federal regulations have put us in and how much rosier our picture would be without these self-imposed impediments.
They explain that in the almost eight years of Obama, annual GDP growth never once even hit 3%.” That’s pitiful. Yet they add that is wasn’t much better during progressive George W. Bush’s two terms. He had only 2 years of 3% or better growth. Of course many will blame 9/11 and the Clinton recession. They were contributing factors, but it was more than anything, the explosion of regulations which has stymied growth. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that, “annual U.S. GDP growth exceeding 3% … is not expected to be attainable over the coming decade.” Sadly this is apparently the new normal. IBD tells us the BLS conveniently leaves out the main cause of this economic anemia. “It lists everything as a cause, except for one thing: federal regulations.”
George Mason University (GMU) did a study to discover just how much regulation has weighed on the economy “and what it found is mind-boggling.”
They found that “if the regulatory state had remained frozen in place in 1980, the economy would have been $4 trillion — or 25% — bigger than it was in 2012. That’s equal to almost $13,000 per person in that one year alone.” $13k per year –every year – and you can guarantee, with those extra four years under Obama’s belt, that price tag has risen significantly. What could you do with an extra $13,000?
Not counting any penny-ante regs, Obama added 172 of what they are classifying as “economically significant” regulations during his first term and another 200 in his second. He has far out paced his predecessors in both quantity and scope of damage to the economy.
And here is the worst part. If the cumulative costs of U.S. regulations were a country, it would have the fourth largest GDP in the world. GMU ranked the top 11. Number one was the United States. China was second and then Japan. Then came Regulation Nation, solidly in fourth place – just off the podium. Give us time – we’ll get there.
At $4 trillion, Regulation Nation’s economy topped Germany, France and the U.K. and if you add together the Russian and Italian GDP, it roughly equals Regulation Nation. That is so sad.
Knowing all this – can there be any question why our economy sucks and will continue to suck? So I say again: It’s The Regulation, Stupid!