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$1.75 Trillion Regulations, Immigration Reform, and Free Trade

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$1.75 Trillion Regulations, Immigration Reform, and Free Trade

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REGULATION - WAYNE CREWS & RYAN YOUNG Regulation Without Representation

Regulatory agencies enact more than 3,500 new regulations in an average year. A new federal rule hits the books roughly every two hours, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Compare that with Congress, which passes fewer than 200 pieces of legislation per year. Only Congress has the power to legislate in the American system of government, but Congress never actually votes on most regulations. This is regulation without representation, and it is a major problem. Regulation without representation is a major reason why the Code of Federal Regulations has ballooned to 157,000 pages and counting. It makes it far more difficult to do business and is slowing economic recovery. The total cost of federal regulations last year was over $1.75 trillion, according to economists Nicole and Mark Crain in a report for the Small Business Administration. This well exceeds the $1.5 trillion budget deficit that has gotten so much more attention. 


IMMIGRATION - ALEX NOWRASTEH - Immigration Tariffs Are Cost-Effective Solution to Illegal Immigration Problem:New Study Makes Case for Free-Market Immigration Reform

Washington, D.C., February 7, 2012 – In a new CEI OnPoint, Immigration Policy Analyst Alex Nowrasteh proposes an innovative solution to our nation’s immigration problems: immigration tariffs. Currently, the flow of immigrants into America is managed by bureaucratic federal agencies that set arbitrary quotas for green cards and work visas through lotteries, arcane bureaucratic processes, and adherence to rules that are especially ill-suited to a modern economy. Instead, Nowrasteh argues, the government should set up a tariff schedule that allows immigrants to pay the federal government to legally enter the U.S. job market.


TRADE - FRAN SMITH -Comments Submitted to U.S.-EU High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth

CEI trade policy expert Fran Smith submitted comments to a US-EU working group on how to stimulate job and economic growth. She urges specific reforms, such as removing tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers, rejecting regulatory harmonization, and freezing anti-trust regulation:

The path to economic growth and prosperity is not something readily planned from above but rather is “discovered” by experimentation and experience. Markets are a discovery process – it is not evidence a priori which polices do or do not foster growth and employment. The two primary models are the “harmonization” model of seeking to “standardize” rules between those seeking mutually beneficial trading partners and the “competitive” model which seeks to have each party experiment with rules to determine which are superior. Which approach is superior is not always clear. The “harmonization” approach can easily morph into a “cartelization” path – enriching some within the two blocs but harming the overall economies of both. The “competitive” model can needlessly increase the transaction costs of trade. In this context, let me discuss the question raised in this proceeding. I have some sympathies for both paths; however, as will be obvious, my belief is that the “harmonization” approach is far less likely to advance economic growth. Politics is too uncertain a process to allow top-down rules to become dominant.