The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the hidden ways that the government picks taxpayers’ pockets. As Tyler O’Neil noted in his article published at The Daily Signal, “Americans expect to pay federal taxes,” but they do not like being taxed in hidden ways. O’Neil quoted Wayne Crews from the Competitive Enterprise Institute as saying:
“American households pay at least $14,000
in hidden regulatory costs every year,” Wayne Crews, the Fred L. Smith fellow
in regulatory studies at the institute, says in a new video provided
exclusively to The Daily Signal. “Instead of finding ways to cut those costs
for Americans, President Biden’s whole-of-government policymaking framework
prioritizes political causes like climate change and equity in the regulatory
“At CEI, we believe it is essential to
increase transparency and accountability in the rulemaking process, and make
sure rulemaking agencies stick to their original mandates,” adds Crews, who
lays out three major recommendations in his new report, “Ten Thousand
Commandments: A Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State,” published Wednesday.
“Rules made by federal agencies impose a
cost of government that extends well beyond what Washington taxes,” Crews told
The Daily Signal. “Federal environmental, safety and health, social, and
economic regulations grip the economy, making it needlessly harder and more
expensive to run a household or business in this country.”
His analysis – the latest in a series of
annual reports – finds that the average American household pays $14,514
annually in a hidden regulatory cost.
“This amount exceeds every item in the
household budget, except housing,” notes the report, which The Daily Signal
obtained prior to its publication. “A typical American household spends more on
embedded regulation than on health care, food, transportation, entertainment,
apparel, services, or savings.” That number represents 17% of an average income
before taxes ($87,434 in 2022).
Crews calculated the costs of regulation
on the entire economy as $1.939 trillion, and found the average cost per
household by dividing that gargantuan number by 133.6 million households.
[The article has a graph that] shows the
regulatory costs in 2020 plotted alongside the costs households paid for other
goods and services in 2020. It shows that the cost of regulation is greater for
households for every item but housing.] …
Regulations issued by the executive branch
far outstrip the number of laws Congress passes each year. During the 2022
calendar year, agencies issued 3,168 rules, while Congress enacted only 247
The report suggests a wide range of
reforms to check the growth of regulation. It urges Congress to require
congressional approval of significant or controversial agency rules before they
become binding. It urges Congress to require annual regulatory transparency report
cards and legislation requiring the automatic sunsetting of regulations. It
urges Congress to pass a law preventing presidents from using “emergency
declarations” to impose permanent government controls. It also urges Congress
to identify which federal agencies do more harm than good and to eliminate them
or shrink their budgets. It also urges Congress to set up a
regulation-reduction commission to identify unneeded regulations to eliminate.
“Congress should start preparing now for
substantial reforms to wrangle regulations back under control and put Congress
back in charge,” Crews told The Daily Signal.
passed the Sixteenth Amendment on July 2, 1909, and the States ratified it on
February 3, 1913. This amendment established the right for Congress to impose a
Federal income tax. There is no amendment that establishes the right of the
Executive Branch to impose regulatory costs. The hidden costs imposed by the
various agencies are not constitutional.