Monday, July 09, 2007

Regulations: A Billion Dollars Here and There Adds Up

This morning I received an email about a new book being released by the Competitive Enterprise Institute on the high cost of regulations on the economy, entitled The Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State by Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr.

The following are some of the interesting and expensive facts from the Report:

* 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. While regulatory agencies issued 3,718 final rules, Congress passed and the president signed into law 321 bills in 2006.

* Regulatory costs exceed the amount of wealth already extracted from Americans in the form of income taxes. 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.

Regulations are, in the economic realm, another form of taxation because business must pay to be in compliance. If you are interested in some bed time reading -- and are not prone to nightmares -- you might want to read the report available online.

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