Teapublican Lie #5.

“Regulations are bad for business.”

Teapublicans have been slinging this bovine excrement around for years. “Businesses face mountains of government red tape that make it impossible for them to operate,” they say. I admit it sounds plausible, but it’s just not true.

Certainly, every industry faces government regulations. But those regulations are not necessarily bad. For example, food growers must meet food safety regulations. They must maintain sanitary conditions and monitor the use of pesticides and chemicals. Not exactly onerous regulations, unless you don’t mind getting food borne illnesses. Similarly, restaurants must pass inspections for cleanliness and food preparation. Hotels must meet standards for safety and cleanliness…the list of such examples is long.

Contrary to the Teapublican talking point, a recent study by McClatchy Newspapers found that small business owners don’t feel that regulations and taxes are strangling their businesses at all. As a matter of fact, many of the business owners surveyed felt that the regulations actually create consumer confidence which is good for business.

So, if small business owners don’t oppose government regulations, who does?

One can conclude that the businesses most harmed by government regulation are those that don’t care about consumer safety. Companies that want to trash our environment without repercussions. Companies that want to cut corners to save money. Companies like BP, which apparently cut corners on a blowout preventer resulting in the worst environmental tragedy in history. Companies that buy toys painted with lead because they’re cheaper. Companies that purchase ingredients for pet food without testing them.

These aren’t small businesses. They’re huge, multi-national conglomerates that are more concerned about their bottom lines than their customers. If they don’t care about us, why on Earth should we care about them?