John Boehner Wants Moratorium on All New Regulations For a YearS

Oh look, 24 hours have passed, so House minority leader John Boehner should have endorsed some new, unworkable policy idea in bad faith by now. And he has: a moratorium on new federal regulations for an entire year, specifically. Really?

Now maybe he was just trying to be nice to the particular businessman who asked him about this, someone who has no idea how the federal government or society operates:

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner on Friday endorsed a one-year moratorium on almost all new federal regulations, an idea he said would create jobs by ending uncertainty among businesses fearful of new federal mandates.

Boehner made the suggestion in the Capitol after a 90-minute session with a group of business leaders gathered as part of America Speaking Out, the House Republicans' effort to solicit ideas across the country for a fall campaign platform.

One of the participants at the roundtable raised the idea and Boehner said afterward, "Having a moratorium on new federal regulations is a great idea. It sends a wonderful signal to the private sector that they'll have some breathing room."

It's bizarre how these business leaders, who must be very well educated and capable of critical thought, keep thinking that Obama is coming after all businesses, one by one, until Western Civilization has been pulverized entirely. What's happened in the last year? Private-market based reform of a health care/insurance sector that's been targeted by most administrations since World War II; inevitable (and light!) rules for a financial sector that blew up the global economy two years ago; and trying to ensure that an enormously profitable oil company would cover the costs of its massive oil spill. He's really not trying to destroy the profit motive! (That's for his second term.)

Anyway, back to the ten million problems with this "regulations moratorium" idea, this Washington Independent insta-reaction works:

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) is calling for a government moratorium on new regulations for one year, according to Talking Points Memo, with new regulations only coming if there is an "emergency." I'll just note that regulations are generally designed to prevent emergencies, rather than to respond to them, and that government agencies are currently in the process of writing regulations in accordance with the new health care and financial reform laws. Halting that work for a year would do nothing other than, well, halt that work for a year.

Government agencies write thousands and thousands of little regulations all year, many of them explicitly designed to help businesses. But this is probably more of a response than Boehner needs; he knows it, it's not going to happen, but he'll run his mouth about it anyway.

[Image via AP]