NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

$1.8 Trillion Shock

September 25, 2012

The Obama administration has passed a slew of regulations, including the new health care law, which together are poised to cost taxpayers and businesses more than originally assumed. According to estimates by Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the cost of regulations will be about $1.8 trillion annually, nearly 20 times the $88 billion initially assumed, says the Washington Examiner.

The regulations are as onerous as they are numerous and will end up hurting many businesses. Some of the most expensive regulations include:

  • The baseline for annual economic regulation: $373 billion.
  • The baseline for aggregate annual social regulations: $406 billion.
  • Regulations on the Department of Health and Human Services: $184.805 billion.
  • Federal Communications Commission: $141.58 billion.
  • Department of Homeland Security: $55.331 billion.

The roundup of the costs looks at the costs estimated by federal agencies as well as hard-to-calculate costs such as antitrust intervention, regulation of electricity networks and costs of constrained access to natural resources. The $1.8 trillion estimate is close to the $1.7 trillion estimate from the Small Business Administration, which the White House is eager to distance itself from.

Source: Paul Bedard, "$1.8 Trillion Shock: Obama Regs Cost 20-Times Estimate," Washington Examiner, September 20, 2012. Wayne Crews, "Tip of the Costberg," Competitive Enterprise Institute, Fall 2012.


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