According to a new study, federal regulations cost the U.S. economy more than $2 trillion a year, and that number is only going to get bigger with time. This is damage expressly done by politicians in Washington who have put their aims of a larger, richer government over the American ideal of a freer, more prosperous private sector.
Manufacturers and small business owners are the hardest hit by these regulations, two sectors of the economy that are vitally important to drive growth in what many are calling a mini-recession. If anyone was confused about why the economy has been slow to recover, this report has the answers you need.
The study is called “The Cost of Federal Regulation to the U.S. Economy, Manufacturing, and Small Business,” and it is a scathing indictment of the damage done by red tape. The scope of the report only ran up until 2012, but the implications made will be relevant for years to come. Or at least until we have politicians with enough conservative backbone to turn back some of this market-killing bureaucracy.
The $2 trillion figure is ghastly enough, but the numbers only get more shocking once you drill down. The study’s analysis takes the example of an average U.S. company, and says that these federal regulations force them to pay a ridiculous $10,000 for every employee they have just to come up to compliance. That’s per year. Note that this is wholly separate from the Obamacare requirements that have hurt American businesses so badly over the past year. For manufacturers, the story is worse. They have to shell out $20,000 per employee. Those companies with less than 50 employees are the hardest hit of all, being burdened with an unforgivable $35,000 per year, per employee, just to make sure they’re in compliance.
And we wonder why the economy hasn’t boomed?
Unfortunately, very few politicians are willing to truly step up to this issue. Republicans jump at the chance to talk about small government, but only seldomly do they propose actions that would make a significant difference. If we’re going to allow American businesses to flourish the way they could, we’re going to have to turn the clocks back. The free market is at its best when it’s at its most free. This isn’t going to be something solved overnight, but we must at least stop the march towards more and more regulation.
According to the study, environmental measures are by far the worst contributors to this $2 trillion a year disaster. In the name of “going green,” we’re essentially putting a pair of handcuffs on the economy. If things keep heading in this direction, we will no longer be the richest country in the world. Without the money, we’ll no longer have the world’s mightiest military. Without the military, we’ll have to depend solely on our oceans to protect us from disaster. And in today’s world of jets, missiles, and terrorism, that’s simply not enough. A strong American economy is every bit as important to national security as a strong border. Both are weakened by the current administration.