Visualizing the Burden of Federal Regulation

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The Competitive Enterprise Institute recently released the 25th anniversary edition of Wayne Crews’ widely-cited study “10,000 Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State.” It it, Wayne exhaustively documents the cost of the dizzying proliferation of federal rules that impact every aspect of society. Last year the bill came to about $1.9 trillion, or about $15,000 for every household in America. Trying to relate to a number that large can be rather disorienting, so my colleague and fellow regulatory expert Ryan Young recently made some accessible comparisons. Costs last year were as much as 23,750 Boeing 737s, and the household share was enough to fly round-trip to Dubai or buy 23 iPhone 7s, for example.

While those examples are dramatic, it’s also helpful to see some of these statistics charted out visually. Below are a few illustrations (which you may have also seen on CEI’s Facebook page or Twitter stream) that further highlight the scope of the beast with which we are wrestling. 

Please feel free to share and re-post the graphics above. Also, don’t forget to follow Wayne Crews, Ryan Young, and “10,000 Commandments” on Twitter for updates all year round.