From Heritage: The Regulations Grow, the Costs Mount

From The Foundry, the Heritage Foundation’s blog, “Red Tape Rising

Next January the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to issue new regulations on emissions from boilers used in facilities like oil refineries, paper mills, and shopping malls. The EPA claims their new regulations will only cost the economy $9.5 billion by 2013. But the American Chemistry Council says the cost will surpass $20 billion and kill 800,000 jobs. Who is right? We don’t know. But what we do know is that if you total up all of the new regulations already passed by the Obama administration last year, using their own cost estimates, fiscal 2010 saw the largest increase in regulatory burdens placed on the U.S. economy in the nation’s recorded regulatory history.

According to a report released last month by the Small Business Administration, existing total regulatory costs already amount to about $1.75 trillion annually. This “hidden tax” on the economy is nearly twice as large as the sum of all individual income taxes collected last year. Adding to this burden, federal agencies promulgated 43 new rules during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010. The total cost of these rules, each one individually calculated by the Obama administration itself, was $28 billion. Only two of these new rules reduced regulatory costs, and then by only $1.5 billion. On net, the Obama administration inflicted $26.5 billion in new regulatory costs on the economy last year.

Not surprisingly, the EPA is the most aggressive, most costly regulatory agency.

This “Morning Bell” blog post brings to our attention the new Heritage background paper, “Red Tape Rising: Obama’s Torrent of New Regulation,” documenting the alarming rise of federal regulation in fiscal year 2010.  A chart tells the story:

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