I just discovered what could be a terrific website called Remapping Debate. It launched last October.
The heart of our work will be original reporting. We take seriously the idea that the job of journalists is to question and to illuminate. We believe that we need to question ourselves as much as we question others.
We think we need to reject the mental borderlines that leaves "mainstream" reporters generally speaking to "mainstream" sources, and "alternative" reporters generally speaking to "alternative" sources.
We insist that it is probing – not stenography – that can illuminate and inform, and that challenging a policy maker or policy advocate to engage with alternatives to a pre-scripted sound bite represents not commentary but an essential element of real reporting.
While exploring the site, I found this article, which argues that those claiming “regulations kill jobs” clearly have no evidence to back up their claim. Apropos of my post two days ago on this question, the article illuminates.
The idea is widely taken for granted. “Job-killing regulation” has become not only a mantra of today’s Republicans, but also the marketing pitch for a host of plans to have Congress exercise preemptive powers over federal rule-making and enforcement efforts.
It turns out, however, that it is easier to generate provocative rhetoric on this topic than to provide historical evidence for the proposition that regulations do, in fact, kill jobs. Through repeated inquiry, Remapping Debate established that, at least in Washington, vociferous opponents of regulation are often unable or unwilling to offer any such evidence, even in the area of regulation — environmental protection — that is the ground zero of current Republican fury.
The article gives numerous examples of statements on this issue by people who can provide no evidence to back up their claims. I sent it on to Phil Rucker, one of the Post reporters who responded to me when I sent him my post. He said The Post will fact check these claims in future articles.
In this sidebar below, Remapping Debate summarizes the responses it received after asking for the evidence that EPA regulations kill jobs. Note that Congressman Darrell Issa, the new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform who is leading the charge against regulations, is among them.
Show us the evidence
Remapping Debate invited several prominent opponents of regulation, in and out of government, to provide evidence of EPA regulations that “killed” jobs. Each of the following was apparently unable or unwilling to do so:
- Margo Thorning, chief economist of the American Council for Capital Formation and the author of a 2010 study that predicted a loss of 2.4 million jobs if the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill were enacted and implemented.
- Rosario Palmieri, vice president for infrastructure, legal and regulatory policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, which commissioned the ACCF study and which, on its website, declares the EPA’s proposals a threat to "manufacturers, businesses and jobs throughout America."
- Nicole V. Crain and William M. Crain, co-authors of a widely cited study — done for the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy — putting the total annual cost of all regulation at $1.7 trillion — a figure far higher than most such assessments.
- Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the new chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform committee, who has announced an inquiry into the "impact of government hyperregulation on job creation."
- Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY), the prime House sponsor of the REINS Act, which, by requiring congressional approval of every major rule " before it could be enforced on the American people and businesses," aims to "rein in the costly overreach of federal agencies that stifles job creation and hinders economic growth."
- Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), whose Free Industry Act would amend the Clean Air Act to declare that nothing in that law "shall be treated as authorizing or requiring the regulation of climate change or global warming."
This letter to the editor of Remapping Debate has at least two credible examples of regulations killing jobs.