NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Anti-growth policies continue to frustrate the aspirations of working Americans. The economy is likely growing at less than 2% in the second quarter, making prospects for a better job market remote.Higher payroll taxes and income taxes paid by the wealthy took away $165 billion in purchasing power. Consumers reacted but with a lag, because they need to keep driving to work and feeding their children -- now car dealers and shopping malls report slowing sales.
Banking is increasingly concentrated on Wall Street, with the top five or six firms controlling about half of all deposits nationally. Even as the Federal Reserve pumps record amounts of money into the economy, these mega-banks have difficulty assessing local business projects. Small businesses that formerly relied on independent regional banks constantly complain "banks will give us a loan when we don't need one." Big banks are happy to lend to multinationals like General Motors (GM) but much less so to their suppliers, and they are hamstrung by litigation and adopting to excessively cumbersome Dodd-Frank regulations. Banks are not alone. Manufacturers complain that federal and state regulators make building, running and hiring increasingly difficult. Either CEOs can spend their best talent building their businesses, or fencing with regulators and in court -- the Obama Administration has made that choice for them. Obamacare ladles on mandates, taxes and higher health insurance premiums, leaving consumers with fewer dollars to spend, and making businesses of all sizes even more reluctant to hire.