Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lies and the lying liars who tell them: Economic "confidence" edition

Lies and the lying liars who tell them: Economic "confidence" edition


Ever hear people say that the only thing that's keeping businesses from adding workers is lack of confidence in President Obama, related (in part) to fear that he's imposing new regulations or new taxes?

It's all total baloney:

WASHINGTON — Politicians and business groups often blame excessive regulation and fear of higher taxes for tepid hiring in the economy. However, little evidence of that emerged when McClatchy canvassed a random sample of small business owners across the nation.

"Government regulations are not 'choking' our business, the hospitality business," Bernard Wolfson, the president of Hospitality Operations in Miami, told The Miami Herald. "In order to do business in today's environment, government regulations are necessary and we must deal with them. The health and safety of our guests depend on regulations. It is the government regulations that help keep things in order."


None of the business owners complained about regulation in their particular industries, and most seemed to welcome it. Some pointed to the lack of regulation in mortgage lending as a principal cause of the financial crisis that brought about the Great Recession of 2007-09 and its grim aftermath.

Wolfson's firm is readying to open a Hampton Inn this year in Miami on land purchased from a condo developer during the housing downturn. His business could be in line for higher taxes if President Barack Obama allows the current, lower rates on the richest Americans to expire in 2012 and return to previous levels.

That didn't seem to bother Wolfson, who through his partnership declares profit and loss as a pass-through on his personal income taxes, as many small businesses do.

"Higher taxes are not good for business, but some of the loopholes and deductions should be looked at," he said.

The real whining over regulation comes from not from small business but from big business -- specifically the Chamber of Commerce -- over the kind of regulations needed to prevent mortgage scams and various other Wall Street crimes, or crimes against the environment. Had Wall Street been better regulated before 2008 we'd have more jobs, not fewer.

I know conservatives go crazy when these billionaires like Steve Wynn say -- without any proof -- that it's lack of confidence in Obama they're not hiring. The reason they say these things is a) they don't like Obama and b) a Republican in the White House surely would be "better" for a super rich guy like Steve Wynn -- just not for regular people like you or me. Kudos to the McClatchy News Service for doing some reporting and getting at the truth.

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Will Bunch
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