White House Listening on Regulatory Reform

Washington, DC, June 29, 2001 — With the fight over taxes over for now, the Bush Administration may soon be taking a hard look at the costs of over-regulation.  This week the Competitive Enterprise Institute presented a copy of the newly released study 10,000 Commandments: A Policymakers Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State to Mitchell Daniels, director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />


10,000 Commandments documents the frequently unreported costs that the federal government’s rules and regulations impose on U.S. economy.  “This year’s regulatory costs, which work out to approximately $7,410 for the median two-earner family, rival the amount paid in 2000 individual income taxes, which was over $950 billion,” noted study author Wayne Crews, an adjunct analyst at CEI and Director of Technology Studies at the Cato Institute.  “This means that twenty percent of the average American family’s after-tax budget is consumed by regulatory costs, exceeding all other expenses in the family budget, save housing.”  


“The Bush Administration appreciates the need for a re-examination of the regulatory process, and of the burdens that the most well-intentioned rules can create,” said James Gattuso, Vice President for Policy at CEI.  “We’ve all watched as the Federal Register has grown larger year by year.  For the first time in almost a decade, the atmosphere in Washington suggests a new way of thinking about the regulatory state – one that makes checking its growth a real possibility.”


The study also suggests ways in which Congress play a larger role in keeping rulemakers accountable for the costs of their mandates.  “Regulations should be treated the same way federal spending is treated.  Congress should be held directly accountable for the compliance costs—as well as the benefits—that federal regulations deliver to the public.  Vital for true accountability, this step would fulfill citizens’ rights to ‘No regulation without representation,’” continued Crews.



CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information, please contact the media relations department at 202-331-1010 or [email protected].  To contact Wayne Crews at the Cato Institute, please call 202-842-0200.