Fast Facts on the Regulatory Burden

Fast Facts: The Regulatory Burden

  • The estimated cost of federal regulations in the United States is $1.806 trillion annually, a figure that amounts to 11.6 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).[1]
  • In 2013 alone, federal regulators imposed an additional $112 billion in indirect costs to the economy.[2] In addition, the paperwork burden rose to 10.38 billion hours, an increase of 157.9 million hours from 2012.[3]
  • At the end of 2013 the Obama Administration had over 4,000 new regulations in the pipeline, with more than 200 of them considered to be “economically significant.”[4]
  • The Code of Federal Regulations now stands at 174,545 pages, compared to 22,877 pages in 1960.[5]
  • The regulatory cost per household totals $14,67823.2 percent of the national average family income.[6] 
  • With more than $87 billion in proposed rules likely to be finalized this year, the regulatory burden will only continue to grow.[7]  In fact, the American Action Forum estimates that $143 billion in new regulations could be finalized in 2014.[8]
  • Americans believe that the Administration’s regulatory agenda is detrimental.  A survey conducted in December by the Center for Regulatory Solutions found that 70 percent of Americans believe that regulations “mostly hurt” the American economy and 67 percent believe they mostly hurt America’s competitiveness.[9]
  • Moreover, 66 percent of Americans said regulations hurt entrepreneurs and small businesses, while 66 percent also said that they hurt American workers.[10]
  • 72 percent of Americans believe that regulations are created in a “closed, secretive process,” and 68 percent of Americans believe that regulations are created by “out of touch people.”[11]

[1] Clyde Wayne Crews Jr., 2013: Ten Thousand Commandments, Competitive Enterprise Instituteat 2.

[2] Sam Batkins, A Regulatory Flurry: The Year in Regulation, 2013, American Action Forum (Jan. 8, 2014).

[3] Batkins, A Regulatory Flurry, American Action Forum.

[4] Note: For a regulation to be “economically significant,” it carries a regulatory burden on the economy of $100 million or more.  See: The Regulated State of the Union, The Center For Regulatory Solutions (Jan. 2014), p. 1.

[5] Id. at 1.

[7] Id.

[8] Sam Batkins, Inside the Administration’s Fall 2013 Regulatory Agenda, American Action Forum (Dec. 6, 2013).

[9] The Regulated State of the Union, The Center For Regulatory Solutions (Jan. 2014), p. 4.

[10] Id. at 4.

[11] Id. at 3.