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Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State

The federal regulatory cost reached $1.885 trillion in 2015.

Federal regulation is a hidden tax that amounts to nearly $15,000 per U.S. household each year.

In 2015, 114 laws were enacted by Congress during the calendar year, while 3,410 rules were issued by agencies. Thus, 30 rules were issued for every law enacted last year.

Many Americans complain about taxes, but regulatory compliance costs exceed the $1.82 trillion that the IRS is expected to collect in both individual and corporate income taxes from 2015.

Some 60 federal departments, agencies, and commissions have 3,297 regulations in development at various stages in the pipeline.

The top five federal rulemaking agencies account for 41 percent of all federal regulations. These are the Departments of the Treasury, Commerce, Interior, Health and Human Services, and Transportation.

The 2015 Federal Register contains 80,260 pages, the third highest page count in its history. Of the seven all-time-highest Federal Register total page counts, six occurred under President Obama.

The George W. Bush administration averaged 62 major regulations annually over eight years, while the Obama administration has averaged 81 major regulations annually over seven years.

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