Six Hidden Taxes

Thousands of federal regulations raise the prices of goods and services that Americans buy. Just six of these regulations raise prices enough to cost the average American household $1,005 per year. Consumers pay hidden taxes when they buy a new or used car, fill their gas tank, and pay for their groceries.

According to most estimates, income growth for middle-class families has been low over the past decade or two. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), average real after-tax income for households with children grew by $1,521 per year from 2000 to 2008. Since 2008, income growth has been even lower due to the recession and slow recovery. Removing the six hidden taxes outlined in this Issue Brief would be equivalent to an extra eight months of income growth for a typical middle-class household. Put another way, the average household would benefit about as much from repeal of these six regulations as it would benefit if real gross domestic product (GDP) growth were to accelerate from 2 percent to 3 percent for a year.

The following are six ways that Congress can raise real middle-class incomes by saving consumers money.

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