Monday, November 28, 2011

Red Tape Rises Again: Cost of Regulation Reaches $1.75 Trillion

How much does federal regulation cost Americans each year? The question is not an easy one.

While the revenues and expenditures of the government are budgeted and accounted for each year, the costs of regulation are largely hidden from view, paid for indirectly via higher prices, fewer choices, and less innovation. The best estimates of the total cost, however, have come from a series of reports commissioned by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The latest such report was released today by the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, and the results are startling.

Rules and restrictions imposed from Washington now cost Americans some $1.75 trillion each year. That is sharply higher that the $1.1 trillion in costs reported in 2005 in the SBA’s last such study.

Some of this increase comes from identification of regulatory costs that were not included in earlier reports. Yet much represents new regulatory burdens—including a $445 billion increase in the cost of economic regulation.

No matter how you slice it, $1.75 trillion is a lot of money. It is far more than Americans pay in income taxes each year. It’s about the same as the GDP of Italy. Per household, the regulatory tab works out to some $15,000—almost as much as the average family spends on housing.

Full article: http://blog.heritage … aches-1-75-trillion/