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Monday, August 29, 2005

It's Not Just the Spending

Susan Dudley:
"Regulations impose social costs on individuals and businesses beyond the direct tax dollars expended to write and enforce them, and Federal Register pages, agency staffing, and these on-budget costs merely provide insights into the trends in magnitude of the hidden tax. According to the Small Business Administration, the cost of federal regulation on American businesses, workers and consumers is close to $1 billion per year.

But why should the average citizen care about this hidden tax? It's born by big businesses, not us. Not so. Small entrepreneurs, the engine of economic growth in America, bear the greatest burden. For small manufacturers, those employing fewer than 100 workers, the cost-per-employee of complying with workplace regulations is 68 percent higher than for large firms. Unnecessary regulatory burdens increase the cost of hiring U.S. workers, reducing American competitiveness, hindering job growth, and sending jobs overseas.

We also pay the price as consumers. From the moment we wake up in the morning -- flushing the toilet twice, courtesy of the Department of Energy's appliance standards -- to the time we put our children in their Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved pajamas, regulations not only increase the cost of goods and services we buy, but also the choices we can make.

Americans are right to be alarmed by the increase in direct spending authorized by Congress this month. But, they should also be concerned about the hidden tax of regulation, which by all measures, is also growing."

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