Feds add $112 billion in 2013 to regulatory burden

And that's only counting the biggies - regulations whose impact on the economy is more than $100 million.

Washington Examiner:

New federal regulations cost the economy $112 billion in 2013, according to a newly released tally of government figures from the American Action Forum.

Led by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and health care agencies, the federal government added 157.9 million hours of paperwork for U.S. workers.

American Action Forum, a right-of-center Washington think tank, found in an analysis of Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and Federal Register data released Wednesday that regulators have published $494 billion in net costs in final rules from 2009 through 2013.

Two major proposed rules, relating to emissions standards and efficiency standards for motors, drove the regulatory costs for 2013. Yet, according to AAF, overall regulatory activity was down from previous years in President Obama's tenure. The administration published 77 new major regulations, versus 100, in 2010. Any regulation that results in an annual effect on the economy greater than $100 million is considered major.

The largest new burden in terms of paperwork came from an "obscure" rule relating to affirmative action and nondiscrimination for contractors. It would add 9.9 million hours of paperwork.

AAF also measured the cost of regulations on individual companies by examining their 10-K reports. Among the biggest losers were Bank of America, with $1.7 billion in annual compliance costs, Duke Energy with $5.7 billion, and Pfizer with $1.6 billion.

The next time some idiot liberal starts compalining about "unfettered capitalism," throw this number in his face.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates that the federal regulatory burden on American business surpasses $1.8 trillion per year. For 2013 alone, the additional regulations added 157 million man hours of paperwork. Regulatory compliance officer is one of the 30 fastest growing jobs in today's economy. Each and every regulation in the 60,000 plus pages of the federal register published every year carries with it the rule of law. Ignorance of the law is not a defense and many small businesses find themselves in trouble with government agencies because they don't have the means to hire someone to tell them what's legal and illegal.

Certainly there is room for regulation - otherwise we'd have a hundred Bernie Madoffs running around or watch as our rivers and waterways become so polluted they burst into flames. Noe one is saying that some regulation isn't necessary.

But this is ridiculous. To justify their existence, bureaucrats feel compelled to regulate. This has led to a situation where regulating business and the economy has become a major drag on growth and jobs.And it's an open question whether this momentum to regulate can be reversed or halted.

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