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Democracy & Technology Blog Another example of doublepseak?

Rumors that the Federal Communications Commission may be planning to enact network neutrality regulation three days before Christmas (see previous post) seem odd in light of a observation President Obama made on Nov. 3

[A]s I reflect on what’s happened over the last two years, one of the things that I think has not been managed by me as well as it needed to be was finding the right balance in making sure that businesses have rules of the road and are treating customers fairly and — whether it’s their credit cards or insurance or their mortgages — but also making absolutely clear that the only way America succeeds is if businesses are succeeding.
The reason we’ve got a unparalleled standard of living in the history of the world is because we’ve got a free market that is dynamic and entrepreneurial, and that free market has to be nurtured and cultivated.

Bloomberg reports this statement is part of an administration strategy to soften its anti-business image.
Back in July, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said further recovery will depend on the private sector.

[T]he best way to do that is to make sure we’re growing, private investment starts to come back, private firms start to hire again. The government can help, but we need to make this transition now to a recovery led by private investment…

Adopting intrusive rules of the road for broadband services that will likely lead to litigation and permanent uncertainty for investors would be a step in the opposite direction. If, once the lawsuits have finally settled, the FCC succeeds in defining broadband as a “telecommunications” service, investors will face a permanent risk that the commission may choose at some point in the future to exploit the enormous discretion it has in the telecommunications sphere to further expand regulation of broadband. That’s no incentive for private investment in broadband.
Don’t take my word for it. Legendary CEO Jack Welch, in a recent CNBC interview, had three pieces of advice for generating job growth and reviving the American Dream. Stopping network neutrality regulation was one of the three. “Why do you want to regulate the hell out of the Internet?” Welch asked. “Let it go!”

Hance Haney

Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project
Hance Haney served as Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project at the Discovery Institute, in Washington, D.C. Haney spent ten years as an aide to former Senator Bob Packwood (OR), and advised him in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee during the deliberations leading to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He subsequently held various positions with the United States Telecom Association and Qwest Communications. He earned a B.A. in history from Willamette University and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.