Friday, October 5, 2012

The enormous expense of government regulations

The Washington Times has a very interesting article on the immense cost of government regulations.  Here's an excerpt.

When President Obama and Mitt Romney are jousting about taxes during their Wednesday night debate, one or both candidates might correctly point out that the Constitution explicitly forbids taxation without representation. They would do well to also point out that it guarantees against regulation without representation. Article I, Section 1 states, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress.” In practice, however, that protection has significantly eroded over the years. Both candidates could win many voters to their side by pledging to do something about it.

Congress eagerly delegates rule-making responsibilities to unelected executive branch agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and way too many others to name here. What’s more, those agencies have discovered several loopholes in the legal constraints on delegation. Closing them would make a winning issue for politicians across the political spectrum.

A Competitive Enterprise Institute working paper, “Tip of the Costberg: On the Invalidity of All Cost of Regulation Estimates and the Need to Compile Them Anyway,” assembles total federal regulatory costs of $1.8 trillion — equivalent to half the federal budget ( Guarding against overregulation without representation could help bring that figure down. It is long past time we did so.

There's more at the link, including a study of how government departments get around legal obstacles to implement the regulations they want.  It's frightening to realize just how all-pervasive their tentacles are, reaching into every aspect of our lives - and without so much as a "by your leave".

I think we need to ask every candidate for a Congressional district or Senate seat how they see this issue, and what they plan to do about it.  We got into this mess through electing politicians who let it slide until the problem had grown out of control.  Now we need better ones, to fix it!


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