Cost of Gov’t Day Includes $1.16 Trillion in Regulations

Washington, D.C., July 16, 2008—What goes up and doesn’t come down? The federal budget and the cost of federal
regulations. A new report finds that the
cost of federal regulations on consumers at a staggering $1.16 trillion in

“The bottom line is that federal government regulations ate nearly 10 percent of what the U.S.
economy produced last year,” said Wayne Crews, author of Ten Thousand Commandments: An
Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State

“At the same
time,” said Crews, “government is also spending more than ever before – $2.73 trillion;
and the President has submitted a $3 trillion spending plan for next year. Between paying taxes and paying to comply
with government regulations, it’s a crushing burden for American businesses and

Among the report’s

  • The hidden tax of
    regulation now approaches half the level of federal spending itself.
  • Regulation costs more than
    seven times the $163 billion budget deficit.
  • Regulations cost about as
    much as U.S.
    corporations earn in pre-tax profits ($1.16 trillion versus $1.3 trillion,
  • Regulations cost about as
    much as individual income tax collections ($1.16 trillion versus 1.17
    trillion, respectively).
  • “Economically significant”
    regulations – new rules that cost at least $100 million – increased by 14
    percent between 2006 and 2007, from 139 to 159.

solution to the crushing level of federal regulations on the lives and
livelihoods of American workers? The
report urges a series of reforms to make the cost of regulation more
transparent and accountable to the people.
For example, an annual cost-benefit “report cards” on regulations. And Congress should be required to vote on
significant agency rules before they are binding.

“Cost of Government Day” marks the date of the calendar
year on which the average American has earned enough in cumulative gross income
to pay for his or her share of government spending (total federal, state, and
local) plus the cost of regulation.

Read the report and View the video.