Just in time for tax day, Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has published Ten Thousand Commandments by economist Wayne Crews.
Ten Thousand Commandments tells us that the Code of Federal Regulations
is now over 157,000 pages long. In 2009, 3,503 new rules went into
effect — that’s a new regulation every 2 1/2 hours, day and night,
seven days a week — regulating everything from pork rinds to ladders.
Hardly any were repealed.
Americans paid more than $900
billion in income taxes in 2009 and the federal government’s
regulations are estimated to cost that much PLUS another
quarter-trillion — $1.24 trillion in all. That’s larger than the Gross
Domestic Product of Canada!
CEI reports that “regulations
often unfairly benefit established big companies at the expense of
smaller firms or start-ups. In fact, regulatory compliance costs small
firms (those with fewer than 20 workers) 43 percent more than it costs
big firms, according to economist W. Mark Crain.” So, if you’re a
mega corporation with a team of DC lobbyists on staff, mandating
programs onto your small competitors makes perfect financial sense —
especially if your DC lobbyists are busy securing subsidies too! It’s a
Per Ten Thousand Commandments,
more than 95 percent of the cost of federal regulations is “off-budget”
meaning these federal mandates have to be obeyed by businesses which
absorb, then pass along to you — in the form of higher prices — the
regulatory compliance costs. But remember, this costs the little guy 43%
more, forcing you to transfer your shopping from the farmers market and
Mom and Pop on Main Street to Wall Mart.
Federal costs are hidden in everything you buy, taxing you again with another layer of invisible federally driven taxes.
All this means that the cost
to us of the huge federal government – a government sector that was
designed to be limited and small and efficient — is about a third
higher than what it directly spends. In all, about 30 percent of the
economy goes to paying for the federal government — at the expense of
small farms, little companies and Mom and Pop on Main Street.
Think on it — 157,000 pages
of federal regulations. You probably broke a couple of rules getting out
of bed this morning (ignorance of the law is no excuse!).
Goodness! Where’s a burning bush when you need one?