by Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr.
Competitive Enterprise Institute
May 05, 2014
Ten Thousand Commandments is the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s annual survey of the federal regulatory state. It shines a light on the large, growing, and hidden costs of America’s regulatory state. The scope of federal government spending and deficits is sobering, but federal regulations cost hundreds of billions—perhaps trillions—of dollars annually. Unfortunately, they get little attention in policy debates. Regulatory costs are difficult to quantify because, unlike taxes, they are unbudgeted and often indirect. Ten Thousand Commandments compiles scattered government and private data on the numbers and costs of regulations and about the agencies that issue them in an attempt to make the regulatory state more comprehensible. Highlights of the 2014 edition include the fact that costs for Americans to comply with federal regulations reached $1.863 trillion in 2013. That is more than the GDPs of Canada or Australia.