Putting Regulators on a Budget

National Affairs references Wayne Crews's work on the cost of regulation. 

In recent years, there have been several studies published describing the aggregate, cumulative cost of regulation. The numbers are substantial. In 2010, economists Mark and Nicole Crain prepared a study for the Small Business Administration that estimated the cumulative total annual cost of regulations to be approximately $1.75 trillion in 2008. In 2014, in a study prepared for the National Association of Manufacturers, the same team estimated this cost had grown to just over $2 trillion per year. Separately, in 2015, regulatory analyst Clyde Wayne Crews from the Competitive Enterprise Institute estimated the total annual cost of regulations to be approximately $1.88 trillion per year. In another paper, Crews looked at a 2002 Office of Management and Budget study and, after adjusting its data to 2013 dollars, he reported an estimated cost of $1.25 trillion annually. To put figures like this into perspective, in 2014 the U.S. Treasury collected $320.7 billion in corporate income taxes and approximately $1.4 trillion in individual income taxes. Putting aside some technical aspects about comparing costs measured in different ways, it is not yet widely appreciated that the annual cost of regulations may be roughly as consequential as what the public pays in income taxes.

Read the full article at National Affairs