Free Enterprise: Sen. Ron Johnson: Debt and Regulations Are Keeping Economy Down

By Sean Hackbarth

I’m at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, over the next few days focusing on what policymakers and analysts are saying about the economy and what can be done to grow it faster.

I got a chance to ask Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), a freshman senator and business owner, about what he thinks is keeping small businesses from growing and creating jobs. The answer was fears about the deficit and the regulatory environment.

On Washington’s fiscal crisis he said, “Not addressing the debt and deficit issue is a serious matter… that scares business owners and people who invest in businesses and consumers.” He continued, “A high level of uncertainty, the lack of confidence is really keeping the economy down.”

On regulations, he mentioned a Small Business Administration study showing that regulations cost small businesses $1.75 trillion annually. “Since 2008, they’ve [administration] added 11,000 new rules and regulations,” said Johnson, and they haven’t stopped. He named Boiler MACT and Utility MACT as two specific regulations in the pipeline that add to the uncertain economic environment.

Click here for the audio clip of Sen. Johnson.

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