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Koch brothers join Obama in anti-licensing push

In February, President Obama’s budget plan included a proposal to study the impact of occupational licensing and identify unnecessary licensing requirements; the implication being that the Obama administration sees current regulations for at least some occupational licensing professions as overly restrictive and cost heavy.

Now, according to a December 9 USA Today story, Koch Industries plan to team up with the President to rein in occupational licensing. Criticisms have arisen that the Koch political empire’s decision to concern itself with occupational licensing is merely a PR move, notes the USA Today report.  Nonetheless, the report highlighted the fact that the White House is open to working with individuals and organizations that may be opposed to the Obama administration generally.

The unlikely potential collaboration seeks to curtail license requirement for certain professions, such as interior designers and auctioneers- and make the process more sensible for licensed military spouses who are consistently moving around the country. The USA Today report notes that approximately 35% of working military spouses are employed in occupations that require licenses or certification.

The rise in licensing requirements over the last 60 years is apparent. Over 25% of the United States workforce is a licensed worker today, while just 5% of the workforce had a state license in the 50s.

Reports from the White House have concluded that expanding licensing requirements doesn’t always benefit the public, and often drives up the costs of goods.

Read more here.