The Regulatory Thicket

The regulatory burden on our economy is a staggering $1.75 trillion annually. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the costs of complying with regulations average $10,585 per employee—enough to throw a small firm of 20 employees with $200,000 in profits into just-breaking-even territory. First, Congress should take responsibility for regulations, instead of surrendering rule-making to unaccountable government agencies. Congress should appoint an annual bipartisan commission to comb through existing rules and identify those that need repeal. They should also add a five-year sunset provision to all new regulations and consider devolving many regulatory duties to the states, letting the nation’s basic constitutional units discover the effectiveness of rules through trial, error, and interstate competition. All these ideas would provide significant regulatory relief and bring significant benefits to our economy.

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