Common Sense Regulations and Diet Coke

I have a Diet Coke almost every day with my lunch. Last Tuesday, I was shocked to read in the Wall Street Journal editorial page that according to the EPA guidelines, the artificial sweetener in my Diet Coke was treated as hazardous waste! If the FDA says it’s okay to consume, how could it be a dangerous chemical? To the relief of diet soda drinkers around the world, last month the EPA removed saccharin from their list of hazardous waste.

The saccharin was one example President Obama gave on the opinion page of the Wall Street Journal this week to announce a new executive order to restore “balance” to federal regulation and require federal agencies to “ensure that regulations protect our safety, health and economic environment while promoting economic growth.” He also ordered a review of current rules to “remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.”

These are very encouraging words to read. Something appears to be shifting in the Oval Office. The President seems to have moved more towards the center after two years of unpopularity and the Republican wins at the midterm election. In addition to this executive order, he also appointed a business friendly chief of staff, and extended the tax cuts.

Last night, I also watched excerpts from the new Governor of Michigan and self proclaimed tough nerd, Rick Snyder’s State of the State address. Snyder’s plans to reinvent Michigan start with a new bridge to Canada and a pledge to replace the Michigan Business Tax. Snyder also echoed President Obama with a call to review the state’s existing and proposed regulations to create a better environment for economic success while protecting citizens and businesses.

Obama’s opinion piece and Snyder’s speech were both very hopeful for the future of our country and Michigan. I hope there is much more than good rhetoric behind both politicians’ ideas. Common sense rules and tax structures should strengthen our economy. Removing unnecessary requirements can help small businesses create jobs and drive growth. I’m looking forward to watching both Obama and Snyder execute on these plans.

Marisa A. Lenhard, CFA