Here's a sobering fact likely known to few Americans outside of the nation's capital: The federal government is the only government on earth that collects more than $1 trillion in taxes annually.
That's not unexpected since the U.S. also has the biggest single national economy in the world. It stands to reason the most productive economy would generate the most tax revenue.
But there is another way to look at that data point. Are there additional costs to Americans as a result of what the federal government does with its trillions in tax revenues?
10,000 (very costly) Commandments
Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute provides a definitive answer to that question today with publication of the latest edition of his annual compilation, "10,000 Commandments: An annual snapshot of the federal regulatory state."
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Crews estimates the annual cost of compliance with the record number of new federal rules and regulations issued under President Obama at $1.863 trillion.
That works out to a $14,974 "hidden tax" every year for the average U.S. household. That's 23 percent of the $65,596 annual average household income in America.
You can't do that! Or that! Or that!
Just how well-chosen is Crews' title is seen in another data point produced for the 2014 edition of his study: Congress passed and Obama signed 72 new laws in 2013. The federal bureaucracy to date has issued 3,659 rules to implement those new laws.
The Federal Register in 2013 devoted 26,417 pages just to publishing the new rules. That's the most ever in a single year.
In all, the Federal Register published 79,311 pages in 2013, the fourth-highest annual total ever. Four of the five highest-ever annual page counts have occurred under Obama.
That's why the average American family now spends more to pay for federal regulatory compliance than it does for health care, food, transportation, entertainment and savings.