We knew it was bad, but we didn't realize it was this bad.
The lead article in yesterday's edition of Steve Moore’s Committee to Unleash Prosperity Hotline had a chart detailing -- in one simple graphic -- the explosion of federal regulatory costs over the past 60 years. (Click here to subscribe–it's free.)
And the numbers are staggering.
By some estimates, said Mr. Moore, there are more than 300 of these agencies sticking their nose into every aspect of American life and business – from what kind of car you can buy to the temperature setting on your thermostat. (The government regulation of the volume of water flushed through toilets, the volume flow limiters on shower heads and the lumens thrown out by light bulbs as well as light bulb technology itself are just a few of the more unpopular examples of regulatory outrage.)
As the chart above shows, over the last thirty years the budgets of the regulatory agencies have more than tripled after adjusting for inflation from $25 billion to $75 billion. If Biden has his way, observed Steve Moore, next year the regulatory octopus will exceed $100 billion – to arm super-regulators like Lina Kahn of the Federal Trade Commission.
And Steve Moore isn’t a lone voice in the wilderness on this.
A Competitive Enterprise Institute report backs him up and documents how regulations imposed by the federal government on the private sector have radically shifted since President Biden took office.
“The Trump administration tried to make federal agencies streamline and report on their regulatory actions and speed up regulatory approvals for businesses,” explained report author Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr. “But the Biden administration immediately reversed these modest liberalizations and instead has prioritized and inserted controversial, unrelated progressive causes into the regulatory process.”
The report, Ten Thousand Commandments, documents the huge regulatory burden imposed by Washington, now returning to pre-Trump levels by key measures like the number of rules issued and number of pages in the Federal Register. In addition to what the government taxes and spends, regulations and interventions cost the economy hundreds of billions—even trillions—of dollars annually. Using the most recent available data, the report pegs the regulatory cost burden at just under $2 trillion annually, on top of the $2.8 trillion the federal government now spends annually.
Ronald Reagan won two landslide elections and remade American politics by promising to get government off the backs of everyday Americans. However, as Steve Moore’s chart shows, Democrats have spent the past 40 years undoing Reagan’s legacy and regrowing the regulatory state. Now, under Joe Biden, we are getting a regulatory explosion with private sector costs as high as $2 trillion a year, charged Steve Moore.
“Working across the aisle” or trying to negotiate with Democrats isn’t going to relieve Americans of this regulatory burden. On his first day in office, Joe Biden rescinded the Trump rule of thumb that for every new regulation, at least two would be repealed.
Cutting the regulatory agency budgets in half would save half a trillion dollars over 10 years while unburdening the economy from bureaucratic harassment, concluded Mr. Moore.
The only answer is for House Republicans to defund chunks of the regulatory Leviathan as they work through the budget and appropriations process, and then make Democrats pay a political price by forcing them to vote for more regulations if they don’t like the cuts.
The Capitol Switchboard is (202-224-3121), call today and tell your Senators and Representative that the best way to get the economy roaring back to life and to restore and protect the constitutional liberty of individual Americans is to reduce the power of the regulatory state by slashing the budgets of Biden’s out-of-control regulatory agencies.
Lina Kahn of the Federal Trade Commission
Joe Biden administration