We here at the Competitive Enterprise Institute appreciate the release of the new report by the Task Force on Reducing Regulatory Burdens, issued as part of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “A Better Way” plan for policy reform. It’s always been the case that there are more regulations than laws, but increasingly, (the $19 trillion dollar debt aside) if we're missing regulations, especially in Obama's pen and phone era, we're missing government's biggest impact in the economy. Just controlling federal spending will no longer suffice.
There are a lot of things wrong with the way we make regulations in America today. There’s no authoritative list of even the total number of federal agencies. The Federal Register tops out at over 80,000 pages, with cumulative costs in the hundreds of billions.
By exploring concepts like more public participation, regulatory budgeting, sunsetting and review, eased permitting approval, and congressional accountability for rules, the task force has proposed a number of steps to lift the weight of the regulatory burden off the economy. As the economy, entrepreneurship, and risk-taking remain hobbled, the bipartisan repeal of regulatory liberalization is only going to become more apparent. The task force report lays some important groundwork for today and the future.