Bureaucratic state adds $2.1 billion worth of regulations since January 1

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We often talk here about the rise of the bureaucratic state – but for many it’s an amorphous entity. However, I’d like to give you a snapshot perspective of what our bureaucratic state did last week — courtesy of Sam Batkins, Director of Regulatory Policy at the American Action Forum.

For the week ending February 7th, regulators published $549 million in cumulative costs this week, with more than 1.7 million paperwork burden hours.

This is just the sixth week of the new year, and take a look at what the bureaucratic state has accrued:

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44 New Proposed Rules
55 New Final Rules:
52 Significant Documents
7,564 Total Pages of Regulation
$980.4 million in Proposed Rules
$1.1 billion in Final Rules

Since January 1, the federal government has published $2.1 billion in compliance costs and has imposed more than 13.2 million paperwork burden hours. So the immediate question is, was this done by legislation about which your Congressional Representatives kept you informed? Or was this implemented by a faceless bureaucrat who has no accountability to you, the American people?

I think you know the answer. How can you know what is being decided and if it affects your life? And you know what happens in the private sector when regulatory costs increase — they get pushed to the very same American consumers, especially those in the middle income, who are seeing their wages depressed and have been out of work for countless days, months, if not years.

Batkins highlights the two top regulatory proposals of the past week – the costliest being a Health and Human Services regulation to increase patient access to copies of test results. The rule imposes $63 million in annual costs and 1.9 million paperwork burden hours. In addition, the EPA proposed emissions standards for new residential wood heaters. The measure would cost roughly $15 million annually.

However, there was one deregulatory action. The EPA finalized a rule to its “Hazardous Waste Management System” that authorizes use of an “e-Manifest” system to track hazardous waste which could save $74 million annually and reduce the administrative burden by 700,000 hours — kudos to the EPA for doing something right at last.

Oh and more “good” news — there were no major Obamacare regulations imposed this past week, but based on total lifetime costs of the regulations, the Affordable Care Act has imposed an estimated cost of $24.3 billion in private-sector burdens, approximately $8 billion in costs to the states, and 132.9 million annual paperwork hours.

Of course yesterday President Obama decided to further confuse the Obamacare mandate situation by delaying — the 27th delay in a series (collect them all) — the employer mandate for businesses with 50-99 employees. And those businesses having over 100 employees now only have to provide 70 percent of their employees’ healthcare. That delay holds until 2016. Gee, why are these delays tied to election years?

I try to bring you the truth and analysis you may not read or hear about elsewhere. I hope you’ll contact your Senators and Representatives weekly and ask for a regulatory update — or at least have them include it in their end-of-the-week SITREP to you, their constituents. And if they don’t already provide a weekly update, demand it!
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