5-8-2019

“Highlights in the 2019 edition of Ten Thousand Commandments include: 

  • The estimated $1.9 trillion “hidden tax” of regulation is greater than the corporate and personal income taxes combined. If the cost of federal regulations were a country, it would be the 9th largest, behind India and just ahead of Canada.
  • Each U.S. household’s estimated regulatory burden is at least $14,600 annually on average. That amounts to 20 percent of the average pre-tax household budget and exceeds every item in that budget, except housing.
  • In 2018, the Trump administration issued 3,368 rules. That’s more than the 3,281 final rules in 2017, which was the lowest number of regulations coming out of federal agencies in a single year since the National Archives began publishing rule counts in 1976.
  • The estimated regulatory cost burden is equivalent to more than 40 percent of the level of total federal spending, projected to be $4.4 trillion in 2019.
  • In 2018, Washington bureaucrats issued regulations at a rate of 11 for every one law Congress enacted. The average for this “Unconstitutionality Index” for the past decade has been 28 to one. The five agencies issuing the most rules are the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Health and Human Services, Transportation, and the Treasury.
  • President Trump should ignore his regulatory impulses on issues like antitrust, social media and technology, infrastructure, trade restrictions, telecommunications, food and drugs, subsidies, and more. Given divided government and the absence of Congressional action, the president should use executive orders to compel regulatory agencies to: put out an annual regulatory report card, implement a regulatory cost budget to keep his reform agenda on track, and address the misuse of agency guidance documents.”  Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr., “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, 5/7/2019.

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