Washington’s Ten Thousand Commandments

The 2012 edition of “Ten Thousand Commandments” is out now. If you don’t feel like reading all 66 pages (though I recommend you do!), Wayne Crews and I sum up the main findings and offer a few institution-level reforms in a short piece at The American Spectator:

Politicians love to blame unregulated markets for America’s economic troubles. But… those unregulated markets are hard to find. The federal government lists all of its regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations. It is more than 169,000 pages long and growing. Last year alone, 3,807 new final rules were published in the Federal Register — more than 10 per day. In 2010, it was 3,573 new rules.

And here’s just one of our reform ideas:

Just as Congress is supposed to pass a budget every year for what it spends, it should pass a regulatory budget. If it caps regulatory burdens at, say, $1 trillion, it would then have to prioritize which rules it believes provide the most bang for the buck. Voters would also know when Congress votes to increase regulatory costs, giving members at least some incentive to keep regulation in check.

The fight for real regulatory reform is a long one, not least because neither party has shown the seriousness needed to see it through. But the only way to win is to fight.

Read the whole thing here.