Aug 17, 2017

Regulations Cost Americans More Than Taxes

Post by Freedom Partners

Talk about sticker shock! This year, the Treasury Department collected an all-time high in federal individual income tax collections. In fact, American taxpayers and corporations have paid $1.85 trillion in taxes in the 2017 fiscal year. While the burden of income and corporate taxes are quantifiable, determining the costs to individual consumers and businesses imposed under the tangled web of federal red tape is more difficult.

According to numbers from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, federal regulations cost Americans an estimated $1.9 trillion annually – higher than what individuals and corporations combined paid in taxes so far this year. In total, the final bill to Americans is a whopping $3.7 trillion.

President Trump, his administration, and lawmakers have all aggressively slashed many of the Obama-era regulations weighing down our economy. He also enacted positive reforms, including a one-in-two-out policy for new regulations, yet there is much more work to be done.

The American people are the ones bearing this burden, as CEI’s Clyde Wayne Crews points out, policymakers’ inaction “costs us, not them.”

“[R]egulatory compliance costs are approaching the level of pretax corporate profits, which were $2.138 trillion in 2015. This is all food for thought for policymakers who can’t seem to get their act together on any kind of regulatory liberalization in an effort to avoid being seen cooperating with President Trump at all costs,” says Crews. “The problem is that doing nothing costs us, not them. It isn’t just that government spending is high, the amount that the federal government requires the private sector to spend is high too, and they avoid assessing those costs,” he added.

The pace at which active status regulations were scrapped or shelved equated to eliminating 16 old rules for every new one, according to the administration. In total, the administration says it has “withdrawn or removed from active status” 860 regulations.

To date, the regulations addressed by President Trump are among the dozens identified in Freedom Partners’ Roadmap to Repeal. Released at the outset of the new administration and after years of grassroots action by Americans for Prosperity (AFP), this how-to guide details the necessary steps the president and Congress can take to dismantle harmful regulatory barriers and promote growth and opportunity for all Americans.