- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Voters looking for lasting private-sector job growth and more economic certainty will be disheartened by new burdensome regulations flowing from Washington, especially recent actions taken by the National Labor Relations Board to prohibit Boeing from creating new jobs in a right-to-work state.

In Resurgent Republic’s recent national survey, conducted jointly with the American Action Forum, we asked voters the following question:

Which possibility concerns you more: the federal government has too few regulations to hold private businesses accountable, or that the federal government has too many regulations that hurt the economy?

Those Washington officials advocating for more federal regulations will be dismayed by the results: Voters clearly see too many federal government regulations as more of a threat than too few.

By a margin of 55 percent to 36 percent, voters are more concerned that the federal government has too many regulations that will hurt the economy, rather than too few regulations to hold private businesses accountable. Republicans are more concerned about too many regulations by 77 percent to 16 percent, as are independents by 55 percent to 35 percent. Only Democrats are concerned about too few regulations by 56 percent to 36 percent.

Perhaps more interesting politically, this governing philosophy drives a significant wedge between President Obama and key voting constituencies.

A majority of union households approve of President Obama’s job performance, 55 percent to 41 percent (a higher margin than voters overall, 49 percent to 47 percent). Union households, however, are more concerned that the federal government has too many regulations, 53 percent to 39 percent. Even public-sector union households adhere to this position, 48 percent to 44 percent.

Voter concern about too many federal regulations is also shared across income groups: 55 percent to 35 percent among voters making less than $50,000 annually; 51 percent to 42 percent among voters earning between $50,000 and $100,000 annually; and 63 percent to 31 percent among voters making more than $100,000 annually.

In addition, the debate over the size and scope of federal government regulations is likely to influence the 2012 landscape. Battleground states like Indiana, Virginia and North Carolina account for significant non-urban voting cohorts. These voters are more concerned that the federal government has too many regulations: 53 percent to 38 percent among suburban voters; 59 percent to 33 percent among voters in small towns; and 67 percent to 25 percent among rural voters.

The White House has yet to respond to the National Labor Relations Board’s new burdensome rulings, stating that the board is an independent agency. President Obama did not exude the same caution in using his 2010 State of the Union address to excoriate the nation’s highest court following the Citizens United ruling with which he disagreed. Numbers like these should cause the White House to reset its “no comment” strategy.

Luke Frans is the executive director of Resurgent Republic.

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