Federal regulations impose an annual economic burden of more than $1.8 trillion.
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Government spending—everybody’s talking about it. But unlike the weather, everyone wants to do something about it. Last week, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) released a comprehensive tax reform plan. This week Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) made headlines by questioning the government’s efforts to tackle poverty, and the following day, President Obama introduced his $3.9 trillion budget proposal. There is another area where government grows in the shadows, which in many ways, hides government spending and taxation – through regulation.

The federal government spent roughly $3.5 trillion last year, but federal regulations impose an annual economic burden of more than $1.8 trillion. And to be clear, this number is an understatement because the vast majority of rules are not required to report their costs.