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National Debt

U.S. Regulatory Costs Exploding

  • May 12, 2014

    According to the latest annual report on the state of regulatory compliance issued by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the cost of federal regulations is now bigger than the entire economies of all but nine countries in the world, including Canada. This is thanks to unchecked growth under the presidency of Barack Obama. The report is a compilation of compliance costs from government agencies and outside sources. CEI found that the "regulation tax" imposed on the economy is now greater than $1.86 trillion.


    Specifically the report found that on a per-household basis, federal regulatory costs average $14,974, which is more than the typical U.S. household spends on just about any good or service. This comes as little surprise when weighing the fact that there are currently more than 3,000 rules in various stages of implementation at 63 federal agencies. 191 of those rules are "economically significant," which means that they will impose more than $100 million in annual compliance costs.


    The Obama Administration has had 42% more “economically significant” rules in development, on average, each year than the Bush Administration. The report also unveiled that there were 51 regulatory rules written for each law passed. Last year, regulators issued 3,659 rules. That's equal to one new rule every 2 1/2 hours of every day, or nearly two federal rules issued every business hour. These unchecked rules and regulations amount to these unelected federal agency bureaucrats acting more like Members of Congress, who are at least accountable to the American public via elections.


    Rules and regulations written without the protection of our Constitution’s checks and balances, like laws passed by Congress are subject to, are dangerous and detrimental to farmers, small businesses, and many other Americans seeking to make a living in the free market. Congress should act to stem the rising tide of regulations in order to protect our nation’s economy and to hold these agencies accountable to the American people.

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