Way back in early 2009, when Barack Obama was assembling his cabinet, Washington governor Christine Gregoire was rumored
to be on his short list for Commerce Secretary. It’s too bad that didn’t work out. She probably could have explained a couple of things to him about how commerce works.
While Obama has clung bitterly to his philosophy of throwing billions of dollars at the feet of public employee unions, he has simultaneously enacted mountains of oppressive regulations that have made the conduct of commerce nearly impossible.
Governor Gregoire has taken a very different path. She recently extended
her “non-critical rule making” moratorium through next year. She adheres to the novel concept that restrictive, expensive regulation stifles the conduct of business. She understands that business creates wealth. Businesses employ people. And businesses generate that precious tax revenue that politicians love to spend.
Agencies may only generate rules, “that protect Washingtonians from significant risks to public health, safety or welfare, or by request of local governments, businesses or entities the state regulates.”
This has upset some powerful Democrat constituencies, such as the environmentalist wackos and all others who believe that Washington is a seriously under-regulated state. But surely Governor Gregoire understands as well as they do that they have nowhere else to go. The lefties are not going to throw their support behind Rob McKenna, the presumptive Republican gubernatorial candidate regardless of how much Gregoire disappoints them. So for a change she’s going to do what’s best for the state.
Barack Obama has a very different idea. He mocks the idea that lifting his boot from the neck of business will do anything to help the economy. To those who think otherwise, he recently snarked:
“The answer we’re getting right now is: Well, we’re going to roll back all these Obama regulations… Does anybody really think that that is going to create jobs right now and meet the challenges of a global economy?”
Well, yes. A lot of us think so. Including Washington’s governor it seems.
Obama ally Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) explains how Obamanomics works. Imposing regulations force businesses to hire people to comply with the new laws.
"I believe if the government says, look, we have got to reduce our carbon footprint, you will kick into gear a whole number of people that know how to do that or have ideas about that, and that will be a job engine. I understand what you mean, because if anything adds a cost to a business, you could assume that that will diminish that business's ability to hire. But I don't think that's actually right. I think what businesses want is customers and what -- if they are selling product, if they have a product to sell they will do well even if they have some new regulations to meet.”
So how’s that been working out so far?
One of Obama’s favorite targets is the electricity generating industry. According to the Institute for Energy Research, new pollution control regulations promulgated by Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency will shut down 28 gigawatts
of electrical generating capacity by next year.
Don’t people work at those plants? How does this help them? The price of electricity will skyrocket, something Obama promised during his presidential campaign. That will create additional hardship on the middle class and force more people out of work.
The EPA claims that shuttering these plants will reduce toxic emissions and save thousands of lives
. But if that were true, then wouldn’t these plants already be killing thousands of people now? It’s hard to imagine that thousands of people dropping dead from exposure to power plant emissions could have gone unnoticed all this time.
Had we been without that electrical generating capacity last summer during the southern plains heat wave, there would have been blackouts and counting the dead killed by heat exhaustion would have been very easy. Unless Obama sees the error of his ways, we’ll probably get the chance next summer.
But don’t expect Obama to change course. Despite all of the job losses that have come as a direct result of his policies, he says that, “I believe all the choices we've made have been the right ones.”
Governor Gregoire, for all her myriad deficiencies, at least possesses enough pragmatism to step back from her ideology when it clearly does more harm than good. We’d probably be in better shape today had she experienced this epiphany sooner.