Pethokoukis

The rising tide of federal regulations and mandates, in two charts

Mercatus

Mercatus

From Patrick McLaughlin and Richard Williams of Mercatus, a chart showing the number of restricting words, such as “shall,” “must,” or “required,” that are printed in the Code of Federal Regulations each year. Over time, “these accumulated restrictions can either directly foreclose paths to innovation or entrepreneurship or add up to the point where their cumulative cost makes certain actions prohibitively expensive.”

Might this have some impact on US business dynamism? Also check out what McLaughlin and Williams think should be done about this blizzard of federal rules.

052714mercatus2

Follow James Pethokoukis on Twitter at @JimPethokoukis, and AEIdeas at @AEIdeas.

11 thoughts on “The rising tide of federal regulations and mandates, in two charts

  1. Even if you assumed that each and every one of these regulations has some beneficial impact (ROFL), think of the cost that these regs impose in total on businesses. Large companies have a floor full of lawyers that (try to) decipher these things. This is almost totally impossible for small businesses. Their only real option is to go “bareback” — that is, hope that when the hammer comes down for doing something that runs foul of one of these pages that it doesn’t kill them.

  2. One minor problem here. The tide is not rising once you scrape away BS measures by Federal Register pages and counts of imperative verbs.

    Verbosity aside, the Register published 2,482 rules in 2012, which is on the low side a range from 2500 to 4500. Dubya surpassed the 2012 count in each year he held the WH. https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43056.pdf

    But we still don’t have a good handle on the impact without looking at what the rule does. For example, a rule deregulating an area of former purview still counts as a rule.

    The report above uses government definitions of “significant” and “major” rules. There were 67 major rules in 2012. But we’re still not there, though, because many were characterized as such because they moved money one time.

    “Economically significant”: is spelled out in detail. There 83 such reviews in 2012, alas, with no accounting of how many went on to become final rules.

    Just so Seattle Sam can rest more easily at night, bogeymen have never been sighted either, and there is no evidence suggesting that they hide under beds.

    • Using your suggestion as a remedy, I estimate it should take the present federal government 1187 years of stonewalling to determine economic significance, or even a necessity in the promotion of the basic freedoms
      we were once guaranteed.

        • And here Turd the leftist nimrod ® makes an unwitting yet convincing case for elimination of the EPA.

          Of course, since 2010 Dodd-Frank is now sucking up most of the regulatory oxygen in the room, with

          …more than 90 provisions that require SEC rulemaking, and dozens of other provisions that give the SEC discretionary rulemaking authority.

          http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/dodd-frank.shtml

          And they’re only done with 75% rulemakings related to this appallingly bad piece of shit law.

          Turd, are you enjoying your -1% Q1 2014 GDP growth?

          Nothing a few more rules and regs, with multiple overlapping bureaucrat agency enforcement can’t fix….

          Idiot.

  3. As always, Turd only gives half the picture, because the full picture conflicts with his simpleton leftist worldview.

    As CEI documented, 51 rules were written on average for every law passed in 2013. The Obama Administration is averaging 34 rules per law, nearly twice that under W. Bush. Total cost impact of Obama regulation is now estimated at $1.8 trillion, greater than Canadian and Australian GDP.

    Additionally, the total number of economically significant regulations – regulations which impose more than $100 million in compliance costs – passed by the Obama Admin, has been 42% greater than under Bush.

    http://cei.org/studies/ten-thousand-commandments-2014

    So both quality and quantity of regulation are massively worse under Obama.

    I’m sure Sam sleeps quite well knowing what a dimwit Turd is.

    Hopefully, Turd is enjoying his 14% unemployment, unprecedented anemic economic growth, and deteriorating standard of living.

    • Not content with pages or verbs, Mesa introduces yet another BS measure: rules/law, calculated by an organization that relies on outraged dumb*sses for its funding.,

      Most rules are highly local changes of existing rules. Do we care that the Forestry Service has changed the grazing rights in the Mt Zirkel wilderness area? Or that Commerce tweaks fishing allocations in US territorial waters?

      And while facts don’t make much of a dent in Mesa’s Chicken Little world view, here is a story about the resignation of O’s pick to head OIRA, a Harvard law professor, that includes praise from Darryl Issa and the US Chamber of Commerce and condemnation from various activist groups.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/04/science/earth/cass-sunstein-to-leave-top-regulatory-post.html?_r=0

      “Few proposed rules escaped his gaze or his editor’s pen. Of the hundreds of regulations issued by the administration as of late last year, three-quarters were changed at OIRA, often at the urging of corporate interests, according to an analysis from the Center for Progressive Reform, a liberal-leaning group that monitors federal regulation. For rules from the Environmental Protection Agency, the figure was closer to 80 percent, the group found. In virtually every case the rule was weakened.”

      • Oh, another incoherent masterpiece, Turd.

        Let’s see, you think that 1) citing a quasi-government source (NYT) analyzing 2) government sources (OIRA, OMB) to substantiate your hand waiving dismissal of CEI’s deadly accurate impact assessment of regulation is somehow persuasive.

        [Including a perfunctory and irrelevant reference to Darryl Issa - Hurrah!]

        Your rebuttal also rests on your indisputable and rock-solid contention that CEI is funded by “outraged dumbasses.” I’m convinced – you’re absolutely right, very persuasive rebuttal.

        God, you’re an ignorant, sniveling moron Turd.

        You actually believe that government estimates of government regulations are accurate. The reality is, not so much.

        Nothing government does is accurate, in any way whatsoever.

        Rules per law an “irrelevant statistic?” Um, wrong. Rules and rulemakings make the leftist/statist bureaucrat world go ’round, Turd. Laws are only the beginning, but since you don’t understand the rulemaking process (or its impacts), you have no way of knowing that.

        Oh, and Cass Sunstein was and is a major part of the problem.

        Shove this crap back up your ass, where your head is firmly lodged, Turd the leftist nimrod ®

    • Not content with pages or verbs, Mesa introduces yet another BS measure: rules/law, calculated by an organization that relies on outraged dumb*sses for its funding.

      Most rules are highly local changes of existing rules. Do we care that the Forestry Service has changed the grazing rights in the Mt Zirkel wilderness area? Or that Commerce tweaks fishing allocations in US territorial waters?

      And while facts don’t make much of a dent in Mesa’s Chicken Little world view, here is a story about the resignation of O’s pick to head OIRA, a Harvard law professor, that includes praise from Darryl Issa and the US Chamber of Commerce and condemnation from various activist groups.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/04/science/earth/cass-sunstein-to-leave-top-regulatory-post.html?_r=0

      “Few proposed rules escaped his gaze or his editor’s pen. Of the hundreds of regulations issued by the administration as of late last year, three-quarters were changed at OIRA, often at the urging of corporate interests, according to an analysis from the Center for Progressive Reform, a liberal-leaning group that monitors federal regulation. For rules from the Environmental Protection Agency, the figure was closer to 80 percent, the group found. In virtually every case the rule was weakened.”

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