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An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State

View the 2018 Edition of Ten Thousand Commandments

The scope of federal government spending, deficits, and the national debt is staggering — but so is the cost of federal regulations. In fact, the cost of federal regulation exceeds half of what the U.S. federal government spends annually.

As the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s annual survey of the federal regulatory state, Ten Thousand Commandments, points out: regulations impose enormous burdens on American consumers, businesses, and the economy. Unnecessary and meddlesome overregulation and intervention create uncertainty that slows innovation and economic growth. But unfortunately, regulations get little attention in policy debates. Unlike taxes, they are difficult to quantify because they are unbudgeted and often indirect.

In Ten Thousand Commandments, Crews seeks to fill this information gap, compiling the best available government and private data on these costs. By making the size and scope of America’s regulatory state more comprehensible this annual report underscores the need for more transparency, a better review process and more cost-benefit analyses for new and current federal regulations.

By shining a light on this growing “hidden tax” of regulation, author and CEI Vice President for Policy Clyde Wayne Crews aims to hold legislators and regulators accountable for the regulatory costs Washington bureaucrats impose on Americans, while also offering policy solutions for how Congress can roll back this red tape.  

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