WASHINGTON – Americans already know over-regulation hurts the economy and their own pocketbooks. But research done by the American Action Forum (AAF) shows the last 11 years have really piled on the pain.
The 4,432 new rules instituted just from 2005 to 2016 have added up to more than a trillion dollars in cumulative total final costs, the AAF estimates.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., has seen those devastating effects up close.
"Among many of the damaging legacies of the Obama administration has been the absolute strangling effect of over-regulation," she said. "We've certainly seen it in my state."
She insisted some regulatory efforts have actually been intended to wipe out jobs.
Cheney noted, "It's regulations that were imposed not simply because they were necessary for safety or for health, but really in some instances, in particular in the energy industry, regulations that have absolutely been aimed at killing things like our coal industry, like our fossil fuel industry."
AAF's regulatory policy director, Sam Batkins, told CBN News regulators know full well the damage their rules will cause.
"This is something that regulators even estimate," he said. "For example, in 2016, regulators predicted that federal rules would eliminate more than 11,000 jobs."
Driving Companies Overseas
And that was from only 10 out of the roughly 3,000 rules implemented just last year alone. The regulators also know their new rules can chase companies out of the U.S.
"In their regulatory impact analyses, they'll often admit that some domestic manufacturers might close down and move to other countries," Batkins said.
Over-regulation also moves power and assets from the private sector to the federal government.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said he witnessed a recent regulatory land and power grab across vast parts of the West by the Bureau of Land Management.
"It was imposed with little input from the states and with no input from land owners," Ryan complained. "And it was another example of a distant arrogant bureaucracy that simply just was not listening to the people."
Critics have repeatedly warned that over-regulation is a heavy drag on U.S. economic growth.
"Regulation cumulatively can trim trillions of dollars from the American economy," Batkins warned.
11 Billion Hours of Paperwork
And critics say the time wasted complying with all the regs is staggering.
"There are roughly 11 billion hours of paperwork cumulatively," Batkins explained. "So you can estimate millions of jobs not only in the federal workforce, but the private sector as well just to filling out all those forms, all those paper requirements."
The cost of regulations may be a huge burden on the entire American system, but that cost can be personalized as well. It makes most everything an American buys more expensive. It may cost them their job or keep them from getting a new one because businesses can't afford to hire as many people.
As Batkins summed it up, "It's higher prices for consumers, it's fewer jobs, and it's reduced pay for the average American worker."
'We're Against Dumb Regulations'
Stephen Moore was an economic adviser for the Trump presidential campaign. He told CBN News, "We're not against all regulation. We're against dumb regulations that are costing us our jobs."
That's why President Donald Trump has made fighting over-regulation a top priority, like with his order that for every one new regulation, two old ones must be killed.
And the GOP-controlled U.S. Congress is slashing away federal rules right alongside him.
Speaker Ryan said, "It is estimated that so far these changes just this year have saved families and businesses more than $63 billion."