The Competitive Enterprise Institute has just released the 2013 edition of 10,000 Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State.
This is the 20th year for the publication, and it does not get any shorter.
Highlights of the report:
- Total costs for Americans to comply with federal regulations reached $1.806 trillion in 2012. For the first time, this amounts to more than half of total federal spending. It is more than the GDPs of Canada or Mexico.
- This is the 20th anniversary of Ten Thousand Commandments. In the 20 years of publication, 81,883 final rules have been issued. That’s more than 3,500 per year or about nine per day.
- The Anti-Democracy Index – the ratio of regulations issued to laws passed by Congress and signed by the president – stood at 29 for 2012. That’s 127 new laws and 3,708 new rules – or a new rule every 2 ½ hours.
- Regulatory costs amount to $14,678 per family – 23 percent of the average household income of $63,685 and 30 percent of the expenditure budget of $49,705 and more than receipts from corporate and personal income taxes combined.
- Combined with $3.53 trillion in federal spending, Washington’s share of the economy now reaches 34.4 percent.
Note: That “34.4%” of the economy is on the light side. States spend another 16% of annual GDP directly, and of course the states have their own massive regulatory apparatuses. So the government share of the economy is now well over 50%.