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Taxes, Regulation, Fear Suffocating Business: Sununu

Thursday, 16 Aug 2012 | 11:32 AM ET

The U.S. economy needs elected officials to stop condemning success, John Sununu, former Republican governor of New Hampshire, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday, arguing that businesses are reluctant to invest out of fear of higher taxes and more regulation.

Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney listens as former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu endorses him for President outside the Statehouse October 24, 2011 in Concord, New Hampshire.
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Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney listens as former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu endorses him for President outside the Statehouse October 24, 2011 in Concord, New Hampshire.

According to Sununu, a campaign surrogate for Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, businesses are waiting to see the results of the election before they begin investing again.

Sununu strongly denounced what he called an "insane administration" that penalizes successful businesses and individuals.

“You've got more cash in the private sector in business than you've ever had before,” the former governor noted. The overhang of potential tax increases and added regulation is stifling investment "slows down the permitting process, and makes it a penalty of taxes every time they succeed,” he said. (See: Langone: Companies Focused on Middle Doing Well).

“Obama wins, investment goes offshore. Romney wins, the investment stays here,” Sununu added.

Guest Henry Blodget countered that the economy is weak because the middle class is "broke." Yet Sununu argued that the current political and regulatory environment has stunted hiring, which in turn is undermining demand.

“I talked to dozens of people who would like to be hiring right now, and because of Obamacare, the fear of regulation, and uncertainty about this election, they're waiting,” he said (Read: Some Companies Pay More to CEOs Than to Uncle Sam).

“We've got to take a recognition that what we've done to those three mainstays over the last four years has been part of the reason, if not the big part of the reason, why our recovery has gone nowhere.” (Read More: Ryan Budget Bad for Clean Energy: Rep. Waxman).

Romney's 5-Step Economic Plan in the Spotlight
John H. Sununu, Romney Campaign senior advisor, debates the merits of Mitt Romney's plan for economic recovery, with Henry Blodget, Business Insider CEO & editor-in-chief.

Sununu also said a potential Romney administration would take a “smart” approach toward energy, which would further help economic growth. “Coal, oil and natural gas are the mainstay of American energy for the next generation,” Sununu said.

“We've had an administration that truly believes government is the solution,” concluded Sununu. “You've got a candidate, Mitt Romney, and a vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, that understand the values that come from incentivizing people and businesses.”

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