Focus Point - Regulation killers

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. I've mentioned before the Washington post's Cindy Skruh-Zicki who covers the regulatory beat. She recently wrote about Congress's order, to the Office of Management and Budget, to figure out the cost of regulations.

As of the first quarter, 1999, federal health, safety and environmental regulations cost the economy between $174 billion and $234 billion. The paperwork alone took more than seven billion hours costing $109 billion.

It may be worse than it seems. OMB doesn't conduct its own analysis; it has to rely on figures provided by the regulators its supposed to analyze. There aren't even uniform accounting standards from agency to agency.

It's bad enough that freedom and initiative are stifled by laws enacted by the people we elect. But laws promulgated by the unelected bureaucracy are outside our ability to control. Small government doesn't just mean fewer laws; it means fewer regulations, too.

Those are my ideas. And at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.