As the economy continues to struggle, a new report highlights ways the government may be making things worse by imposing bigger burdens on business. Our new video breaks down the facts and highlights the impact of this creeping government red tape. While these costs are often invisible, they are nevertheless very real for taxpayers. Heritage’s James Gattuso and Diane Katz explain:
Many people may think that regulatory costs are a business problem. Indeed, they are, but the costs of regulation are inevitably passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices and limited product choices … Unlike the budgetary accounting of direct tax revenues, Washington does not track the total burdens imposed by its expansive rulemaking. An oft-quoted estimate of $1.75 trillion annually represents nearly twice the amount of individual income taxes collected last year.
The annual cost of regulation—$1.75 trillion by one frequently cited estimate—represents twice the amount of individual income taxes collected last year. Overall, from the beginning of the Obama Administration to mid-fiscal year (FY) 2011, regulators have imposed $38 billion in new costs on the American people, more than any comparable period on record. Consider Washington’s red tape to be a hidden tax. The mountain of regulations didn’t begin under the Obama Administration. Under the Administration of George W. Bush, for example, $60 billion in additional annual regulatory costs were imposed on Americans. But as Katz and Gattuso write, the rate at which burdens are growing has accelerated under the Obama Administration
As if that’s not enough, despite these record highs, regulatory burdens are scheduled to increase. Of the 2,785 rules currently in the pipeline, 144 are major—defined as costing at least $100 million annually—meaning that $14 billion in annual regulatory costs are potentially on their way. Congress and the President must act to prevent further harm to our fragile economy.