Obama Goes Soft on Business Regulations

President Obama appears to be making some concessions to big business, with environmental and safety regulations potentially on the line. In a new op-ed written for the Wall Street Journal, he extols the creation of a new, “21st Century Regulatory System,” promising to eliminate rules on business that “conflict, that are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb.” He will be doing away with said rules as of today, after he signs an executive order that requires regulatory agencies to work in tandem with businesses -- sounds utopian, but in the context of the financial bible, the WSJ, the message takes on a different sheen. As Jake Tapper points out, the piece signals a move more toward the center, whether perceived or actual, and reflects wishes made by his new Senior Adviser, former JP Morgan exec Bill Daley.

And while the President argues that the regulation-curbing will help drum up jobs, another signal that this doesn't bode well: he's gotten quite the praise from Darrell Issa (R-CA), who essentially asked corporationsto let him know what regulations they want curbed. "I applaud President Obama for joining what must be an effort that stretches beyond ideological entrenchments to identify the regulatory impediments that have prevented real and sustained job growth in the private sector," he said in a statement. "It's in the interest of every American that we create a modern, regulatory environment that fosters economic growth and makes U.S. companies globally competitive."

Taking the regulatory system into this century and eliminating waste is one thing -- handing over the reigns to corporations that don't care about the environment is another. The outcome remains to be seen.

Read Obama's full op-ed here.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at January 18, 2011, 4:39am

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