We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Tablet

In his column on federal red tape today, National Journal‘s Jonathan Rauch gives a shout out to Wayne and the most recent edition of his perennial classic, 10,000 Commandments:

A new report by Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank, estimates that federal regulation now costs the economy more than $1.1 trillion a year. Crews also takes note of one data series that points in a contrary direction: The raw number of final rules published in the Federal Register is down since the 1990s; indeed, it has been declining since the 1970s. “But that doesn’t tell you about the costs of those rules,” he cautions.

That’s in addition to the fine editorial in yesterday’s DC Examiner:

The CEI study notes that regulations have become a form of “off-budget taxation” that in effect forces private companies to pay for new government programs that have not withstood the rigors of the legislative process — including competition for tax dollars, public disclosure and congressional accountability. As Crews points out, the 1996 Congressional Review Act gives Congress 60 days to approve any new rule, but so far, only a 2001 Labor Department regulation on repetitive motion injuries has been rejected on Capitol Hill — out of 48,000 final rules issued by federal agencies and commissions since 1995.

Lots of headline-hunting congressmen in both major parties incessantly complain about jobs being shipped overseas, but then turn around and pass laws mandating thousands of new regulations. The result inevitably drives up the cost of keeping jobs at home, increases prices for goods and services produced here and makes it tougher for U.S. companies to compete with foreign competitors.

We’ve also gotten some nice regional coverage from places like Pittsburgh, San Diego and even Spartanburg, South Carolina. Also, thanks to our friends at NCPA for showing us a little policy-related love.