There is a lot of talk about the high cost of regulations (in fact, a lot of talk from me about them). But how do you put a number on that cost? Well Sam Batkins of the American Action Forum has been keeping a running tab not only on the high cost of the regulations themselves but also the man hours it takes Americans to implement them and the cost is staggering.
Every Friday Batkins reviews that week’s new regulatory onslaught, makes his calculations and thus far Obama’s regulatory juggernaut is costing Americans $84.8 billion bucks. But that isn’t the last of what it will cost Americans. In order to implement these regulations, to make sure business and individuals are following the rules, it will cost Americans 88.2 million annual man hours to do the paperwork, file the reports, and follow the Internet-based reporting procedures in order to satisfy the rules.
Imagine this burden of worker’s time wasted just to make sure we follow regulations! It is obscene.
This cost is not a gradually increasing number either. It is one spinning wildly higher almost every week. For instance, just between October 21 and the 28th the costs of regulation went from $81.3 billion to $84.8 billion. Not an insignificant jump, to be sure.
Dozens of these new regulations weighing down our nation and stifling our economy are coming out every single week.
Here are just a few of Batkins’ entries in the last several weeks:
- Oct. 24-28: Administrative agencies proposed 69 rules and implemented 59 final rules.
- Oct. 17-21: Administrative agencies proposed 58 rules and implemented 67 final rules.
- Oct. 1-14: Administrative agencies proposed 63 rules and implemented 62 final rules.
- Oct. 3-6: Administrative agencies proposed 59 rules and implemented 62 final rules.
That is 250 new rules forced on America just in October alone. This is happening each and every month, folks.
Now, imagine you are a company manufacturing something, anything. You are faced with combing through over 250 new regulations every month to see what affects your company and what doesn’t. Then you have to hire people and maintain salaries for people not to take care of your customers, not to make sure your products are well manufactured, not to improve relations between you and your employees, but to file paper work with government bureaucrats. Not to mention the bevy of lawyers you have to hire to safeguard your interests if you make a mistake in implementing those regulations.
No wonder no one wants to start a new business these days.
You’ll also find that these government bureaucrats will not help you implement these new rules, too. Why? Because they are not there to help you. They are there to penalize you if you violate the rules. After all, if they make a mistake it might make them look bad. They’d rather you be the one to look bad. It’s safer for the bureaucrat!
Worse, if you do make even a tiny mistake in filings or in your understanding of what these regulations mean for your company those bureaucrats will gleefully swoop down on you like you are public enemy number one. They will happily shut you down causing all your employees to lose their income and you to lose your customers.
Worse yet, you may have followed the rules to the nth degree but you might find that one government agency disagrees with another in how to follow those rules and you’ll still find yourself cast as an outlaw in the eyes of the government. Even after a monumental effort to satisfy the regulations you can still easily find yourself in Dutch with the government.
Is it any wonder that American businesses are fleeing to other countries?