CEI Podcast for July 24, 2014: Victory in Halbig v. Burwell

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General Counsel Sam Kazman talks about what the Halbig decision means for the Affordable Care Act, as well as broader principles such as taxation without representation and the rule of law. Click here to listen.

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

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In addition to 100 final regulations, 62 proposed regulations made their way to the Federal Register last week.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 100 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. There were 63 new final rules the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every one hour and 41 minutes.
  • So far in 2014, 1,912 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,464 new regulations this year. This would be the lowest total in decades; this will likely change as the year goes on.
  • Last week, 1,559 new pages were added to the Federal Register.
  • Currently at 42,130 pages, the 2014 Federal Register is on pace for 76,322 pages. This would be the lowest total since 2009.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. 22 such rules have been published so far this year, none of them in the past week.
  • The total estimated compliance costs of 2014’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from $7.34 billion to $10.57 billion. They also affect several billion dollars of government spending.
  • 159 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
  • So far in 2014, 355 new rules affect small businesses; 53 of them are classified as significant.

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.

Ten Reasons to Abolish the Export-Import Bank

A new CEI study released today compiles ten reasons to abolish the Export-Import Bank. The bank subsidizes companies that export goods abroad, and foreign companies that buy those goods. Whatever the intentions behind the bank, the result is one of the federal government’s largest corporate welfare programs. Ex-Im did $37 billion of business in 2013, and has a total portfolio of nearly $140 billion.

Fortunately, unlike most other agencies, Congress has to reauthorize Ex-Im periodically or it must shut its doors. The next reauthorization vote must happen by September 30, or Ex-Im will cease to exist. The political battle over reauthorizing a previously obscure agency has become a flashpoint issue in the 2014 election. A few of the reasons the paper lists in favor of closing Ex-Im:

  • Ex-Im favors some businesses and hurts others, often benefitting foreign firms rather than domestic ones. It has favored foreign airlines, such as Air India, Korean Air, and Ryannair, over domestic airlines, such as Delta Airlines.
  • As many as 74 instances of fraud and bribery allegations involving Ex-Im employees have been made public over the last five years. For an agency with only 400 employees, this is a serious problem.
  • Ex-Im also favors big businesses over small businesses. Ex-Im touts that the vast majority of its lending activities go to smaller businesses. But more than 80 percent of the bank’s financing, measured in dollars, goes to big firms.

For more, read the paper here. If you prefer a shorter version, here are a short op-ed and a podcast.

CEI Podcast for July 15, 2014: Time to Close the Export-Import Bank

ex-im logoCEI Fellow Ryan Young is author of the new CEI study, “Ten Reasons to Abolish the Export-Import Bank.” Click here to listen.

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

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In a busy week, the Federal Register topped 40,000 pages, with Friday’s edition alone adding 666 pages.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 63 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. There were 79 new final rules the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • So far in 2014, 1,812 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,406 new regulations this year. This would be the lowest total in decades; this will likely change as the year goes on.
  • Last week, 2,370 new pages were added to the Federal Register, roughly double an average week’s output.
  • Currently at 40,571 pages, the 2014 Federal Register is on pace for 76,262 pages, which would be the lowest total since 2009.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. 22 such rules have been published so far this year, none of them in the past week.
  • The total estimated compliance costs of 2014’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from $7.34 billion to $10.57 billion. They also affect several billion dollars of government spending.
  • 152 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
  • So far in 2014, 336 new rules affect small businesses; 51 of them are classified as significant.

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.

CEI Podcast for July 10, 2014: The Wire Act and Online Gambling

online poker
Michelle Minton argues that the Wire Act applies only to interstate sports gambling, not online gambling as a whole. The Wire Act’s 50-year history is on her side. Click here to listen.

Cronyism and the Export-Import Bank

Over at Rare, I have a piece on the cronyism angle of the Export-Import Bank debate. The Senate will likely vote this month on whether or not to end the bank:

[I]f government is going to dole out corporate welfare, the most efficient way to do it is to hand out cold, hard cash. Straight subsidies don’t distort international markets or invite corruption the way export subsidies do.

But most cash gifts to corporations are political non-starters. They’re a little too obvious. So companies and allied politicians need cover stories. The Export-Import Bank fits the bill.

An official logo, sophisticated-sounding economic rhetoric, and appeals to American jobs and patriotism are designed to make people feel good about the special favors Ex-Im performs for businesses.

Read the whole thing here.