Red Tape Record Breakers

Red Tape Record Breakers

A new study puts the cost of regulation at $14,768 per household.
May 20, 2013
Originally published in The Wall Street Journal

President Obama is opposing a bill passed by the House last week that would require the Securities and Exchange Commission to better measure the costs and benefits of new regulations. That's no surprise considering that the latest annual index of federal rules shows that Team Obama is now the red tape record holder.

For two decades, Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute has tracked the growth of new federal regulations. In his 20th anniversary edition this week, he'll report that pages in the Code of Federal Regulations hit an all-time high of 174,545 in 2012, an increase of more than 21% during the last decade.

Relying largely on government data, Mr. Crews estimates that in 2012 the cost of federal rules exceeded $1.8 trillion, roughly equal to the GDP of Canada. These costs are embedded in nearly everything Americans buy. Mr. Crews calculates these costs at $14,768 per household, meaning that red tape is now the second largest item in the typical family budget after housing. > Read the full editorial