The Cato Institute's Doug Bandow cites Wayne Crews on the problem of the regulatory burden:
Clyde Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute has devoted much of his working life to assessing the impact of regulation. In his working paper last year entitled “Tip of the Costberg,” he figured the total price of regulation to be $1.88 trillion. At $399 billion economic regulation had the biggest impact, closely followed by environmental controls, which cost $386 billion. Tax compliance finished third at $316 billion, followed by health care at “only” $190 billion. Communications, labor, financial, transportation, and others added smaller amounts.
Regulatory costs play out in many ways. One aspect is what an individual or company spends to comply with government dictates. Far harder to measure is what does not occur as a result of arbitrary and expensive rules. What products are not launched, what enterprises are not started, what jobs are not created? Indeed, Crews pointed to several areas where costs are rarely adequately figured, including lost liberty, “economic regulatory impacts and consequences,” lost benefits from existing practices, expense of poor regulatory controls, and lost jobs.
Of course, regulations theoretically are promulgated because they yield benefits. Not just benefits, but net benefits after considering costs. However, agencies have an incentive to inflate the value of what they are doing. That means exaggerating problems and “social costs,” overstating alleged benefits, and discounting compliance costs. Explained Crews:
Finally, there is the issue of lost liberty. Crews released a second study last year entitled “Mapping Washington’s Lawlessness 2016.” It reviewed what he termed “regulatory dark matter.”
Read the full article at American Spectator.