Red Tape on the Upswing

From: RegBlog | Penn Program on Regulation

How much do federal regulations cost? That question has been debated for decades. The truth is that nobody knows for sure. But we do know the cost is very high—and new rules are being added to the pile at a disturbing rate. According to figures we have compiled, 43 major regulations—imposing more than $100 billion in new, annually recurring regulatory costs—were adopted during the past seven years of Barack Obama’s presidency.


A host of other reforms have been proposed, including requiring independent agencies to prepare benefit-cost analyses, creating a congressional Office of Regulatory Analysis, and increasing the staff of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which reviews proposed rules. OIRA has a staff of about 50 full-time professionals—a number that renders its staffers vastly outnumbered, on the order of 6,000-to-one, by the regulators whose work OIRA reviews.

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