“If you have 10,000 regulations, you destroy all respect for the law.”
– Winston Churchill
One of the common complaints of the business community is too much regulation and interference by government bodies.
Obviously, we need regulations to ensure honesty and integrity in the marketplace. We expect honest weights and measures. When we purchase a gallon of gasoline, we expect there to be a gallon of gasoline in our vehicle. But when government overreaches and places too many regulations on businesses, the end result is lost jobs and lower wages.
We have had two major periods of regulatory roll backs in recent memory. The first occurred when Ronald Reagan was president. Reagan’s tax and regulatory policies is credited for an unprecedented economic boom that lead to the creation of more than 35 million jobs.
But despite all of Reagan’s accomplishments in deregulation, his administration ended up with a net increase in regulations. So, imagine what would have happened in the United States economy if Reagan had been able to reduce government regulations even more than he did?
The second major development in reducing regulations is happening right now with the Trump Administration. Under President Donald Trump’s leadership, regulations are being reduced at a five to one ratio which means that for every new regulation being written five regulations are being eliminated.
The result of lower taxes and reduced regulations has created unprecedented growth in the US economy. During the last year of Obama’s last term, manufacturing in the US shrank by 16,000 jobs, and in just a little over one year under President Trump, 281,000 new manufacturing jobs have been added. The unemployment rate nationally is 3.9 percent and during the last quarter, the US economy grew by an incredible 4.1 percent.
This is the direct result of sound economic policies. Just as good economic policies yield economic growth – bad economic policies lead to job loss and a poor economy. According to a 2013 study in “The Journal of Economic Growth,” the accumulated regulatory rules between the years 1949 and 2005 resulted in the 2012 economy being $4 trillion smaller than it could have been. There is a real-world impact to bad public policy.
What is happening nationally is nothing short of incredible. Unfortunately, the policies that are creating record economic growth nationally are largely being ignored here in Illinois. Instead of lowering taxes and reducing government regulations, our legislative leaders continue to double down on the very policies that are moving Illinois closer and closer to insolvency.
Last year, lawmakers voted to raise income taxes by 32 percent and instead of reducing government regulations – Illinois keeps adding more and more regulations.
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University examined Illinois’ business regulations in 2017. They found that the Illinois code contains 259,832 restrictions and contains just under 15.1 million words. To put this into perspective, a person reading the Illinois code would spend about 838 hours or just under 21 weeks to read it all assuming the reader spent 40 hours per week reading approximately 300 words per minute.
That’s too many regulations.
We have seen what is working at the national level to spur economic growth. It is time we duplicated that success here in Illinois. The blueprint for success is there. President Trump is showing the way.
It is time for our leaders in Springfield to stop doing the same things repeatedly and expecting a different result. Bad economic policies will not yield a good economy no matter how many times they are tried. States like Indiana, Texas and Florida have good economies because they long ago implemented sound economic policies. They cut taxes and reduced government regulations. Lowering taxes and reducing burdensome regulations works every time it is tried. Implementing these policies in Illinois is long overdue.
Darren Bailey is the Republican candidate for the Illinois 109th Representative District seat. He and his family live in Louisville, Ill.