Cost of Federal Regulation: $1.88 trillion

Fox Business features Wayne Crews' Ten Thousand Commandments report.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is out with its annual report that estimates that the U.S. economy was hit by $1.88 trillion in 2014 from the cost of complying with federal regulations and higher prices. It argues the cost of complying with federal regulations extends beyond taxes, deficits and borrowing.

“Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations affect the economy by hundreds of billions of dollars annually,” CEI Vice President Clyde Crews said. The government, in a sense, does create jobs in the private sector—a massive vegetative, unproductive universe of workers dedicated to dealing with federal rules.

Another problem with federal regulations, CEI points out, is that “they are unbudgeted.” Meaning, you don’t see regulations in the budget process. For every law passed, on average 16 regulations are created. “Regulatory compliance costs exceed what the IRS is expected to collect in both individual and corporate income taxes for last year—by more than $160 billion,” it says.

CEI also notes that five dozen “federal departments, agencies and commissions have 3,415 regulations in development at various stages in the pipeline,” adding, “The top six federal rulemaking agencies account for 48% of all federal regulations. These are the Departments of the Treasury, Commerce, Interior, Health and Human Services and Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.”

It also says: “The George W. Bush administration averaged 62 major regulations annually over eight years, while the Obama administration has averaged 81 major regulations annually over six years. Generally defined as having an expected economic impact of at least $100 million per year.”