CEI report: Uncle Sam loves his regulations

Americans spent an estimated $1.8 trillion in 2012 to comply with federal regulations, reports the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The public policy organization has just released its 20th annual report, "Ten Thousand Commandments," which describes the cost of complying with Uncle Sam's rules.

"You have thousands of regulations coming out of the [federal] agencies. Every year it's about 3,500," says Wayne Crews, vice president for policy at the CEI.

Congress, meanwhile, passes only a "few dozen" regulations annually that are signed into law by the president, says Crews.

According to the latest report, $1.8 trillion is more than half of federal spending, and is greater than the gross domestic product in Canada and Mexico.

CEI notes the federal government funds itself through taxes and through borrowing money, and a third way is through regulations – "off-budget taxation."

Crews says he wants Congress to pass the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, or REINS Act. The legislation would require Congress to approve rules proposed by the executive branch that have an economic impact of $100 million or more.

"That way, you get Congress back in the driver's seat," Crews tells OneNewsNow. "Plus, voters have someone they can point to and hold accountable."

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