This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


Lots of contentious issues are in the news, from the midterm election to immigration to a disturbing rash of bombs sent to politicians and media outlets critical of the president. The initial third quarter GDP estimate showed healthy 3.5 percent growth, but factors from Federal Reserve independence to government-managed trade threaten future growth. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations last week ranging from non-metallic panels to soybean boards.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 68 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 79 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 28 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,782 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,344 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,066 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,349 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 54,227 pages. It is on pace for 65,167 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (which subtracts skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Five such rules have been published this year, none in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2018’s economically significant regulations is a net savings ranging from $348.9 million to $560.9 million.
  • Agencies have published 90 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • So far in 2018, 527 new rules affect small businesses; 22 of them are classified as significant. 

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.