NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Regulatory Tsunami

September 16, 2011

According to a new report by the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, the number and scope of federal regulations, along with the costs of those regulations and the number of federal regulators, are all growing.  This has occurred despite an executive order from President Obama that was touted as a measure to curb regulation that would "stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive," says the Washington Examiner.

The following data suggests a troubling reality of growing regulation:

  • The Obama administration has imposed 75 new major regulations costing more than $380 billion over 10 years.
  • There are 219 more economically significant regulations in the works that will cost businesses $100 million or more each year -- for a minimum cost of $21 billion over 10 years.
  • The number of pages in the Federal Register (where such regulations are recorded) regarding final rules rose by 20 percent between 2009 and 2010, and proposed rules have increased from 2,044 in 2009 to 2,439 in 2010.

Personal anecdotes from business owners as they confront various regulations demonstrate that the consequences of overregulation are very real and damage the ability of American businesses to compete.

Source: Byron York, "New Report Cites 'Regulatory Tsunami' Under Obama," Washington Examiner, September 13, 2011.

For study:


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