Ten Thousand Commandments 2013: A Fact Sheet

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1. This is the 20th anniversary of Ten Thousand Commandments. In that time, 81,883 final rules have been issued. That’s more than 3,500 per year or about nine per day.

2. The Anti-Democracy Index – the ratio of regulations issued to laws passed by Congress and signed by the president – stood at 29 for 2012. That’s 127 new laws and 3,708 new rules – or a new rule every 2 ½ hours.

3. Total costs for Americans to comply with federal regulations reached $1.806 trillion in 2012. For the first time, this amounts to more than half of total federal spending. It is more than the GDPs of Canada or Mexico.

4. Regulatory costs amount to $14,678 per family – 23 percent of the average household income of $63,685 and 30 percent of the expenditure budget of $49,705 and more than receipts from corporate and personal income taxes combined.

5. Combined with $3.53 trillion in federal spending, Washington’s share of the economy now reaches 34.4 percent.

6. Some 63 departments, agencies and commissions have regulations awaiting approval.

7. The 2012 Federal Register had 78,961 pages. That’s fourth highest all time. The top two all-time are the 81,405 pages in 2010 and the 81,247 pages in 2011.

8. The EPA added 223 rules in 2012 – sixth among federal agencies behind Treasury, Commerce, Interior, Agriculture and Transportation. But its 1,953 rules account for 48 percent of all federal rules, and their total compliance cost — $353 billion – far exceeds that of all other agencies.

9. Tax compliance accounts for one-sixth the total cost of regulation – more than $300 billion.

10. Per-employee regulatory costs climb from $7,755 for 500-or-more-employee firms to $10,585 for those with fewer than 20.

View the report here.