So the White House does what business wants it to do and suspends the implementation of an anti-pollution regulation. And what do I read in my WaPo this AM?
“I do not have a sense of the administration’s philosophy here or where or how they determine to draw a line between economic impacts versus outside organizational pressures,” said R. Bruce Josten, the top lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents the nation’s businesses.”
As I and others are busy pointing out right now, suspending rules like this is very unlikely to have any impact on jobs—Krugman thinks it goes the other way. So if there’s a reason to do it, it’s political. That is, it enables the administration to counter the accusation that they’re tough on business (never mind that corporate profits are through the roof). And it gets you—or should get you—the support of business in the public debate.
And, in fact, the WaPo reports that “the Chamber heaped praise on the White House for its ozone decision.” But it goes on:
“But Josten, who said he is in frequent contact with White House Chief of Staff William Daley and other top officials, said the administration “still has a heavy hand” with hundreds of regulations in the pipeline, from those affecting the environment to labor and capital markets.”
And believe me, even if the White House withdrew all of those regs from the pipeline, they’d still face the same opposition. You can’t please ‘em, so you might as well just focus on the folks who are really struggling.