Ten Thousand Commandments 2014

The 2014 edition of Wayne Crews’ annual Ten Thousand Commandments report comes out today; you can read it here. The report gives a big-picture view of the size and scope of federal regulations. This is something the government should be doing on its own as a basic transparency measure. But they don’t, so Wayne is kind enough to fill in the gap.

Most people know that the federal government will spend $3.5 trillion this year, but very few people know that federal regulations will cost nearly $1.9 trillion above and beyond that spending. A few of the other major findings from this year’s 10KC:

  • This is the 21st edition of Ten Thousand Commandments. In that time, 87,282 final rules have been issued. That’s more than 3,500 per year, or about nine per day.
  • The “Unconstitutionality Index” is the ratio of regulations issued by agencies compared to legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by the president. The ratio stood at 51 for 2013. That means there were 72 new laws and 3,659 new rules – 51 rules for every law, or a new rule every 2 ½ hours.
  • Regulatory costs amount to an average of $14,974 per household – 23 percent of the average household income of $65,596 and 29 percent of the expenditure budget of $51,442. This exceeds every item in the household budget except housing – more than health care, food, transportation, entertainment, apparel, services, and savings. Some 63 departments, agencies and commissions have regulations in the pipeline.
  • The 2013 Federal Register contains 79,311 pages, the fourth highest ever. The top two all-time totals are 81,405 pages in 2010 and 81,247 in 2011, both under Obama.

If you don’t feel like wading through the whole report, Investor’s Business Daily summarizes the study in an editorial in today’s edition, as does the Washington Times and the Washington Examiner’s Mark Tapscott. The Wall Street Journal and Washington Examiner weighed in previously. Wayne also talked about 10KC on Fox News this week, and of course, the primary source is here.