COST OF FEDERAL REGULATION EXCEEDS $1 TRILLION
July 11, 2007
The cost of federal regulations on consumers topped $1 trillion last year, nearly 10 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), according to a new Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) report.
Among the findings:
- Given that 2006 government spending reached $2.654 trillion, the hidden tax of regulation now approaches half the level of federal spending itself.
- Regulatory costs are more than quadruple the $248 billion budget deficit.
- The number of new regulations declined but is still well into quadruple digits; in 2006, agencies issued 3,718 final rules, a 6 percent decline from 2005.
- New regulations by federal agencies outpace actual laws passed by Congress, indicating that considerable lawmaking power is delegated to unelected agencies.
- Regulatory costs exceed the estimated 2006 individual income taxes of $998 billion and dwarf corporate income taxes of $277 billion.
- Regulatory costs exceed 2004 corporate pretax profits of $1.059 trillion.
What is the solution for the crushing level of federal regulations on the lives and livelihoods of American workers? CEI urges a series of reforms to make the cost of regulation more transparent and accountable to the people. For example, Congress should commission a third-party review of the costs and benefits of regulations. And Congress should be required to vote on agency rules before they become binding.
Source: "Cost of Federal Regulation Exceeds $1 Trillion; Americans Burdened by Government's '10,000 Commandments,'" Competitive Enterprise Institute, July 9, 2007.
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