Federal Regulation cost economy $4 trillion since 1980

Guest Blog: Gloria Taylor

A new study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University demonstrates just how destructive regulations are on the U.S. economy. The study showed that if the state of regulation had remained constant since 1980, the economy would be 25% larger, amounting to a total economic loss of $4 trillion over the past few decades.

The increasingly complex regulatory burden on business today continues to lock up productive resources and stifles the ability of companies to add value to the marketplace. Regulations on the financial sector make access to capital increasingly difficult drying up the main driver of economic growth–investment. A recent survey conducted by the National Small Business Association (NSBA) highlights the importance of regulatory reform for small business owners – 34% who contacted their elected official discussed an issue related to regulation.

Spanning every sector from healthcare to agriculture, rampant rulemaking from the Obama Administration alone costs $22 billion annually. Not only does this government interference in the market disproportionately hurt startups and small business, it raises costs for consumers and continues to push Constitutional limits.

Congress must reduce the red tape holding back economic growth by eliminating costly and ineffective regulation, cracking down on unaccountable federal agencies, and reforming the rulemaking process as a whole. The Heritage Foundation suggests Congress exert more authority in analyzing costs and benefits of major rules as well as place in sunset deadlines and strengthen the review of regulatory impact.

For example, Representative Garret Graves’ (R-LA) bi-partisan PROVE IT Act  would go a long way to provide accountability in the implementation process by requiring federal agencies to study the effects of a finalized rule. Determining whether these thousands of major rules actually accomplish their intended purpose and adhere to the anticipated cost would help reduce regulatory abuse and bring accountability to the system. After years a sluggish economic growth it is time to unleash the power behind small business and give back American’s control over their lives.

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