As unprecedented as current federal budget deficits are, they are still exceeded by the annual economic costs imposed by federal regulations, notes the Competitive Enterprise Institute in its annual 10,000 Commandments report. Author Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. reports that the annual costs of federal regulations top $1.75 trillion, making regulation a hidden tax exceeding 50 percent of the level of federal spending.
Yes, there are benefits to regulations, too. But, as Crews notes, there’s no reason to expect agencies to perform honest cost-benefit analyses of their own rules. It’s time, he says, for Congress to take back control: “Requiring expedited votes on economically significant or controversial agency rules before they become binding on the population would reestablish congressional accountability and would help fulfill the principle of ‘no regulation without representation.’”