Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CPSIA - Small Business: We're On Our Own, Baby!

Rumorville has it that the Waxman-dominated House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold long-awaited hearings on the CPSIA on September 10. Given that this is a routine, uncontroversial subject . . . they are said to be calling only one witness, the new CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. No point asking anyone else to testify, as it has long been Mr. Waxman's practice to manage the message. In this case, since Ms. Tenenbaum (a disciplined lawyer and experienced regulator) has stated her philosophy that her regulatory job is to enforce the laws as written. Her testimony can therefore be expected to be neutral on the brilliant law Mr. Waxman so loves. Isn't participatory government GREAT?!

Some people continue to "whine" about the impact of this law on Small Business. Consider, for instance, the opinion of Dan Marshall, the founder of the Handmade Toy Alliance. Mr. Marshall, a store owner in St. Paul, Minnesota, notes that "consumer groups have fought tooth and nail to oppose any reconsideration of the CPSIA that might make testing less onerous on small businesses without compromising safety . . . ." Isn't that interesting? We know from experience that the Democrats really don't care about this issue - Rep. Altmire of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the House Committee on Small Business already told us so after their meaningless hearing a few months ago. Is there any reason for alarm?

Perhaps not, if you live on the Moon. Back here on terrestrial Earth, there seems to be a problem. ADP issued its National Employment Report today for August. This report measures changes in private sector employment. Later this week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release figures telling us how well Mr. Obama, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Waxman are inflating the Federal employment rolls. Out here in the Economy, however, Small Business is sucking wind. The ADP report shows that Small Business lost 122,000 jobs while Big Business lost only 60,000. Even more shocking is the fact that 36.3% of the 6.9 million jobs lost in the private sector during this recession have been lost by the little guys. [Skeptical data hounds can check the math here.] So perhaps this explains why Mr. Marshall remains so uptight about the deck being stacked against Small Business by a law that has been widely exposed as deeply flawed. Why our Congress is so deaf and dumb on this topic is unexplained. And unexplainable.

Mr. Waxman and Mr. Altmire are not in denial. They know the score but don't care. After all, their employment is secure. Until January 2011.


dan mashall said...

Gosh, Rick, thanks for highlighting my comments. I do think the issue with Mattel getting a pass on 3rd party testing is a potential wakeup call for Dems. This week is the first time we've seen Consumer Reports, Mother Jones, and Huffington all cast the CPSIA in a critical light. No, they didn't care that our small businesses were hung out to dry, but they do seem to care that Mattel got a free pass. This is some small progress.

-Dan Marshall (still looking for a suitable pad on the moon)

jennifer said...

what a joke - one witness while so many of us suffer. i would like to know who continues to vote for Waxman.

cmmjaime said...

There has to be someone reasonable who can run against Waxman in 2010! I live in Alabama, but I will be happy to support his replacement!

Never mind that he got on the radio this past summer and promised to hold hearings on CPSIA...