Right Hooks

Obama Regulations Cost U.S. Economy $2 Trillion Annually

"If U.S. regulation was a country, it would be the world's seventh-largest economy." That's not Liberty.

Thomas Gallatin · May 31, 2017

A report released this week by the Competitive Enterprise Institute highlights the number and cost of the federal government’s regulations, and the picture isn’t pretty. Some 3,853 new rules were finalized last year, which saw the Federal Register increase by 20% to a record 95,894 pages. In 2016, Congress enacted 214 new laws while federal agencies issued 3,853 new rules — that’s 18 new rules for every law passed, a ratio which the CEI refers to as the “Unconstitutionality Index.” Non-elected government officials are impacting and controlling the lives of everyday Americans far more so than are any elected representatives.

Barack Obama’s last year in office saw his administration “average 86 ‘major’ rules, a 36 percent higher average annual output than that of President George W. Bush.” In total Obama created 685 major regulations compared to Bush’s 505.

But wait; there’s more. Here are some more of the numbers reported by the CEI: The cost of government administration of regulations is $63 billion annually. The cumulative cost of regulations on the average U.S. family amounts to a yearly hidden “tax” of over $14,000. The five government agencies most involved in the creating of new regulations are the Treasury Department, Department of the Interior, Transportation Department, Commerce Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, which combine to account for 43% of all federal regulations.

According to the CEI report, “The estimated cost of regulation is equivalent to half the level of federal spending, which was $3.854 trillion in 2016.” And then there is this mind boggling observation, “If U.S. regulation was a country, it would be the world’s seventh-largest economy, ranking behind India and ahead of Italy.” There must be a lot of people getting rich off of government regulations, but in any case, the more the federal government regulates, the less free Americans become.

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