Special Bulletin 06-2012

Death by Paper Cuts
by Rick Joyner


      When Europeans start chiding America for our overregulation, we should know we’ve crossed a Rubicon. A recent article in The Economist about the suffocating of the U.S. economy by overregulation was brilliant, insightful, and true. It begins with a few examples of how ridiculous the micromanaging of our lives by government has now become, such as:

The Florida law that requires vending machine labels with a phone number for the public to call to report if the label is not there.
The Federal Railroad Admin that requires an “F” to be painted on the front of trains so you can tell which end it is.
The Bethesda, Maryland Ordinance to shut down children’s lemonade stands that do not have a license.

      These are just a few of the thousands of laws that are now stacked on top of each other and codified into choking red tape that is grinding the most powerful economic engine ever created to a crawl. Overregulation has gone from burdensome to bizarre and is now about to strangle the last bit of life out of us. If Obamacare gets implemented, it won’t just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back—it will be like dropping a Sherman tank on top of the already overloaded camel.

      As The Economist pointed out, regulations for the healthcare industry now require doctors and healthcare professionals to spend thirty minutes doing paperwork for each hour of practice. Think about how much less healthcare would now cost if they could spend their time doing their jobs? With Obamacare, the paperwork will get far worse. It is hard to make sense out of the nearly three thousand-page bill, which means the interpretation and implementation will largely be left up to bureaucrats.

      Get ready for confusion even worse than we now have in the IRS, and far more deadly as we start getting the wrong care, bad care, or no care from government run healthcare.

      Just consider this one factor: Next year the number of federally mandated categories for which hospitals can claim reimbursement will go from 18,000 to 140,000. Why? Because it includes things like nine codes for injuries caused by parrots. If that does not shock you, how about three categories related to burns from flaming water skis! I’m not making this up. It would be comical if such foolishness was not going to destroy the greatest, most prosperous country in history.

Healthcare for Banking

      The Dodd-Frank Bill does the same to banking that Obamacare does to healthcare. If not repealed, this bill alone could lock America into a perpetual recession. Just the “Volcker rule,” that seeks to curb risky trading by banks, requires them to answer 383 questions and 1,420 sub-questions each year. Each requires research and reports. Even then, much of the detail of Dodd-Frank is yet to be filled in, with less than 25 percent of the rules having been drawn up, meaning that the rest will be filled in by bureaucrats who obviously know little about business or banking. The result will be a quick extinction of small community banks in America, which will lead to the choking out of small business in America.

      Only the largest banks have the resources to hire enough people to comply with Dodd-Frank, but it is the locally owned community banks that are the lifeblood to locally owned small businesses. Small businesses that have 25 or fewer employees make up 50 percent of the U.S. economy. They are also the source of 75 percent of all new jobs created in America. Even the biggest corporations were once almost all small businesses. Apple Computer started in a garage. We are close to killing the potential for another Apple to ever rise in America. Before his death, Steve Jobs expressed this well in his laments about what was happening in America.

      We have overwhelming evidence that government cannot manage anything well at this time. Turning more of the economy over to it to run is the kind of foolishness that dragged out The Great Depression until World War II, which finally pulled us out of the mire. Dodd-Frank will cripple the American economy until it is repealed, and the damage it has already caused could take a long time to recover from. To keep our economic engine running, we need a constant flow of new startup small businesses that Dodd-Frank is choking out.

      As The Economist pointed out, The Small Business Administration, a government bureau, found that regulations in general add $10,585.00 in costs per employee to the employer. As The Economist continued to point out, it is a wonder that the jobless rate is not much higher than it is in America. The truth is that it is much higher.

      The jobless rate has been artificially going down because so many have left the job market, not because actual jobs have been created. The total jobs in America are over two million less than when Obama took office. That’s the real number we should consider when looking at the real job situation in America. In just a couple of months, another graduating class will be facing the worst job market in over half a century, and it is so unnecessary.

      We are at the point where we cannot endure anymore seemingly well-intended government fixes where the cure is more deadly than the disease. Washington is more than out of touch with Main Street America—it is out of touch with reality. How can Washington be trusted to fix anyone else’s economic problems when its own house is such a disaster?

      In this Republic, the people are the sovereign, and the government is supposed to work for us. We need to fire all professional politicians and put true servant leaders in their place who know what they’re doing. The American economy has shown remarkable resilience to be chugging along with the unnecessary weight that it’s carrying, but there are now abundant signs that it will not continue to do so much longer without relief.

      Even so, we must also resist overreacting. We cannot exist in a modern society without regulations, but we need leaders and bureaucrats who can tell the difference between needed ones and unnecessary ones. Every unnecessary regulation is like a bleeding wound on our economy. Alone they may seem harmless and not worth giving attention to, but together they add up to a mortal wound that is bleeding us to death.


      The good news is that overregulation and the attempted micromanaging of our lives by government has gone so far that Americans are waking up to it. We were born in freedom for freedom, and when we have cast off this yoke of bondage, we will not be so easily enslaved again. All that we are lacking is the leadership with the courage to address the real issues with clarity and resolve. Until a leader arises that is willing to take on the public service unions that are a major root of this problem, we are still flailing at the branches and failing to put the ax to the root of the problem.

      Unions have done and can continue to do great good for the country. However, many have now gone so far that they are threatening the economic life of the entire nation. They are the main reason why so many of our manufacturing jobs have gone to other countries, not just greedy executives and owners, though this too has been part of the problem.

      What could be the shock that starts the true heart of America beating again is Obama’s new budget proposal to make major cuts to the benefits of our military and veterans of the military who have put their lives on the line for us, without even mentioning benefit cuts to our public service unions, whose pay and benefits are now as much as twice that found in the private sector.

      Our servicemen and women do more than just put their lives on the line in combat—they are also often sacrificing advancement in careers to do this. When they take four years out of the job market to serve in the military, they often come back far behind their peers when they reenter the job force. This is why the jobless rate of veterans is disproportionately higher than the rest of society. They did this for us and they deserve to come back to at least being able to get a job, while our public service unions are not being asked to sacrifice anything for the new budget, even while taking twice as much as their counterpart in the private sector. How this is not already an outrage is hard to understand.

      This twisted state of affairs should pang the conscience of every American and every union member. Personally, I do not blame the union members, or even the union leaders, for where we are now. The union leaders did a much better job representing constituents than those we elected did representing us. It is our political leadership that has failed us, and the unions, as the pushback is causing unions to be viewed as enemies by an increasing number of Americans. They have gone too far, and do need to be reined in, but they too contributed much to the building of America, and can have an important part in shaping our future.

      To date, we do not have a leader with the courage to even address this very basic issue. Just bringing pay and benefits of public service unions in line with the private sector would almost cut the deficit in half. Cutting the redundancies that have several agencies sometimes doing the same job would make a further substantial cut to the deficit. Bringing sound management principles to government could by itself eliminate our deficit, and not only balance the Federal budget, but also release trillions of dollars back into the economy. This would ultimately result in full employment and higher paying jobs for everyone.

      It is not too late to recover what made us the most powerful, wealthy, and moral nation on earth. When you miss a turn and get on the wrong road, it will never turn into the right road. To get back on the right road, we need to go back to where we missed the turn. Our Founding Fathers got it right, and the Constitution they gave us will keep us on the right road. If we will return to it, putting government back in its right place as existing to serve the people with the efficiency and effectiveness they deserve—not being used to seize power but to limit anyone or any one group from doing that. We can quickly again become the best place in the world to do business and to live.


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