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The High Cost of Regulation

October 14, 2009 - 9:47am
Richard Sutton by Richard Sutton

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According to the 2008 Unified Agenda, which lists U.S. federal regulatory actions at various stages of implementation, 61 federal departments, agencies, and commissions have 4,004 regulations in play at various stages of implementation.



Of the 4,004 regulations now in the pipeline, 180 are "economically significant" rules representing at least $100 million in economic impact. Assuming these rulemakings are primarily regulatory rather than deregulatory, that number implies roughly $18 billion yearly in future off-budget regulatory effects.

"Economically significant" rules increased by 13 percent between 2007 and 2008 (following a 14-percent increase the year before).  High federal budgetary spending now likely implies higher future regulatory costs as well.

The five most active rule-producing agencies - the departments of the Treasury, Agriculture, Commerce, and the Interior, along with the Environmental Protection Agency - account for 1,837 rules, or 46 percent of all rules in the Unified Agenda pipeline.

Of the 4,004 regulations now in the works, 753 affect small business.

All of these regulations will have the full force of law (like the 26,000 pages already extant) but are created by unelected bureaucrats - not voted on by our elected legislature nor signed by our president.

For more information on this subject I recommend checking out the article "Ten Thousand Commandments" by Wayne Crews of The Competitive Enterprise Institute.



Related Content:

Tariffs and Economic Favoritism - Austin Raynor
We Need More Regulation - Nick Coons
Who Cares If Production Drops? - Nick Coons


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