Freshman congressman Todd Rokita (R-4th District) and the Indiana Chamber want to do something about that. In an effort to bring to light the harm that many federal regulations do to Hoosier businesses, a new initiaitive has been launched. "Cutting Red Tape, Creating Hoosier Jobs" is a way for business owners and managers to communicate directly to Rokita on issues critical to their business success.
The congressman offers more details in this letter. The Chamber has established a dedicated web site where you can provide feedback on proposed, pending or existing federal regulations. You can also submit through mail to Cam Carter at the Indiana Chamber or via email to [email protected].
What kind of regulations are we talking about? The EPA trying to regulate carbon dioxide emissions through the Clean Air Act is a prominent one. But there are thousands of other "red tape" examples, rules that simply provide additional compliance headaches with little or no benefits.
Rokita needs specific cases (with impacts on business operations or new job creation) in his effort to see a return to limited, common sense government.
Taxes have a higher profile (especially on Tax Day today), but regulations may carry a bigger share of the blame when the topic is government getting in the way of business growth and development. Consider these numbers, just part of a yearly comprehensive report from the Competitive Enterprise Institite:
The Federal Register stands at an all-time record-high 81,405 pages.
In 2010, federal agencies issued 3,573 final rules.
While agencies issued 3,573 final rules, Congress passed and the president signed into law a comparatively “few” 217 bills. Considerable lawmaking power is delegated to unelected bureaucrats at agencies, an abuse addressed recently in proposals such as the REINS Act.
Alarmingly, proposed rules in the Federal Register have surged from 2,044 in 2009 to 2,439 in 2010, a jump of 19.3 percent.
Of the 4,225 rules now in the regulatory pipeline, 224 are “economically significant” meaning they wield at least $100 million in economic impact—this is an increase of 22 percent over 2009’s 184 rules.
Given 2010’s government spending (outlays) of $3.456 trillion, the regulatory “hidden tax” of $1.75 trillion stands at an unprecedented 50.7 percent of the level of federal spending itself.
Regulatory costs exceed all 2008 corporate pretax profits of $1.463 trillion.
Regulatory costs dwarf corporate income taxes of $157 billion.
Regulatory costs tower over the estimated 2010 individual income taxes of $936 billion by 87 percent—nearly double the level.
Regulatory costs of $1.75 trillion absorb 11.9 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), estimated at $14.649 trillion in 2010.
Combining regulatory costs with federal FY 2010 outlays of $3.456 trillion reveals a federal government whose share of the entire economy now reaches 35.5 percent.
Wayne Crews, author of Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State, says, “Trillion-dollar deficits and regulatory costs approaching $2 trillion annually are both unsettling new developments for America. Every year, the federal government blows past previous deficit, debt, and regulatory burdens with no end in sight. No wonder Americans are fed up with Washington.”