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Businesses say they're tangled up in red tape

By msnbc.com staff

It’s a perennial complaint from businesses both big and small: Onerous government regulations are stifling the ability of companies to take risks and grow, costing jobs and killing the economy.

The over-regulation of America is the cover story on the current issue of The Economist. U.S. Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief Matthew Bishop appeared on CNBC Wednesday to discuss the issue of regulation in the U.S. and its impact on businesses.

Bishop pointed to two major pieces of legislation introduced over the past few years that have businesses up in arms. Among them are the Dodd-Frank law of 2010, which is designed to prevent another financial crisis but is said to be overly detailed and lengthy, and President Obama’s health-care reform of 2010 that critics say does little to reduce the complexity of the nation’s healthcare system.

“Every time I talk to a business person, there is a concern that the regulatory environment is killing, at least to some extent, the traditional risk-taking appetite and ability to take big bets that has made America great in the past,” Bishop said.

Business managers are wary, he added. Many companies have improved their productivity or enhanced their balance sheets during the recession, but they haven’t necessarily taken the risks to invest in new big projects that create jobs, he said. They are still nervous about what the new healthcare law will mean for them, and financial services companies are worried about the potential impact of the Dodd-Frank law.

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