Since When Does Obama Want Less Regulation?

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An Obama Wall Street Journal op-ed today argued  for a balance between free market principles and rules and regulations to help the United States to prevail in the 21st century. Obama demanded that all current business regulations be reviewed in order to eliminate those that are outdated and cause harm to businesses. Earlier this morning The Atlantic Wire highlighted the key points of the President's op-ed, which has since sparked strong reactions from both liberal and conservative bloggers who are equally suspicious of the President’s motivation behind his sudden push against regulations.

  • Catering to the GOP  Part of Obama's new plan, laid out in his WSJ op-ed, calls for “a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.” Rena Steinzor, at the Center for Progressive Reform blog, is incensed by the assertion that certain regulations should be abandoned in order to benefit businesses, and suggests that the president is adopting Republican principles. She writes:
To be sure, public anger and distrust, coupled with massive campaign contributions from corporate and other sources, translated into Republican triumph electorally, and the big companies who brought us the Gulf spill, the Big Branch mine collapse, tainted food, and runaway cars have now come to collect. But Barack Obama is a President from the party that should know better, the evidence of which is that he has appointed great people to lead the very agencies that so badly need rescuing after eight years of George W. Bush’s concerted efforts to de-fund and de-fang them. Instead, the President’s newly stated position diminishes EPA’s Lisa Jackson, FDA’s Margaret Hamburg, and OSHA’s David Michaels, siding instead with his regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, who has steadily pushed to issue an executive order that throws a net over his colleagues rather than helping them do their jobs.
  • A Move Motivated by Votes  The Huffington Post’s Peter Goodman calls Obama’s message in today’s op-ed “bogus,” unhelpful,” and “probably wise politics.” Pandering to businesses in possession of campaign cash reinforces the advantages of Obama’s incumbency in the run-up to next year’s presidential election,” he suggests. “But as a message fed into the policy process, one that helps shape the tone of public discourse, Obama's words are nothing short of a public disservice. Having failed to marshal an economic program sufficiently muscular to restore vigor to a still-lean economy, the president will not even talk straight about how we got here, instead adding confusion to the narrative that will surely embolden industries hoping to write rules in their favor.”
  • Liberals Aren’t the Only Ones Unimpressed by Obama’s Pledge  Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin thinks if Obama really cared about preventing regulations from getting in the way of job creation, he would allow his health care law to be dismantled. She writes:
While the Sherlock Holmes of 1600 Pennsylvania sleuths around in search of “the right balance” that they’ve skewed catastrophically over the last two years, the mother of all job creation-stifling regulations--Obamacare--awaits repeal.”
  • Just an Act to Appear More Conservative  ABC’s Jake Tapper calls Obama’s op-ed “another ... move to the center” and suggests that his use of “the conservative opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal,” is “yet another sign his move may be based in part moving towards the political center (or at least being perceived as doing so.)”
  • If So, Conservatives Won’t Fall For It  Jon Ward at the Daily Caller is also suspicious of Obama’s latest declaration, warning that “Obama’s move will not stop Republicans from keeping a close eye on the administration’s regulatory regime, especially since they now control the House and can conduct oversight hearings and choose to withhold funding for agencies or perhaps even for certain types of regulations.”

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