Tag Archives: cei

Ten Thousand Commandments

The 2011 edition of Wayne Crews’ “Ten Thousand Commandments” was released today. The annual study gives a big-picture view of the regulatory state. You can read it here. Some of the main findings:

-Federal regulations cost $1.75 trillion per year. That’s equivalent to about half of federal spending. Government’s cost is actually about 50 percent bigger than most people think.

-Agencies issued 3,752 final rules in 2010. At that pace, a new rule comes into effect every two hours or so.

-Another 4,225 rules are in the pipeline right now.

-The Federal Register hit an all-time high 81,405 pages in 2010.

-Economically significant regulations are way up. These are defined as rules that have over $100 million of economic impact. There were 224 in 2010. That’s a 22 percent increase over 2009’s 184.

Breaking Down the Budget Debate

In this new CEI video, my colleague Lee Doren and I talk about the budget debate.

CEI Podcast for February 17, 2011: Let the Best Bulb Win

Have a listen here.

Brian McGraw, a Policy Analyst for CEI’s Center for Energy & Environment, talks about the coming incandescent light bulb ban, who it benefits (bulb manufacturers), and who it hurts (consumers who no longer have a choice). Brian also touches on the important distinction between pro-business and pro-market thought. Pro-business thinkers would tend to support an incandescent ban, given what it could do for bulb manufacturer’s bottom lines. Pro-market thinkers prefer an open, competitive market process where consumers decide which type of bulb is best, not lobbyists and politicians.

CEI Podcast — November 23, 2010: The Crusade against Alcohol Energy Drinks

Have a listen here.

Baylen Linnekin, author of the recent CEI On Point “Extreme Refreshment Crackdown: The FDA’s Misguided Campaign Against Alcohol Energy Drinks” and contributor to the food regulation blog Crispy on the Outside, looks at the recent push to ban alcoholic drinks that contain caffeine.

Baylen believes that regulators are over-reacting. Alcohol energy drinks typically contain no more caffeine than a cup of coffee, and their appeal to underage drinkers is overstated.

Regulation of the Day 158: Preparing Taxes

The IRS wants to require all tax preparers to register with them, pass an exam, and take continuing education classes. Over at Investor’s Business Daily, Caleb Brown and I explain why that would hurt consumers and taxpayers. Our main points:

-Since the IRS has the power to revoke registrations, tax preparers will have to be careful not to advocate too aggressively for their clients.

-There are at least 600,000 unregistered preparers. Many of them are retirees. Others have jobs, but prepare taxes on the side to help make ends meet. Still others are volunteers. They give their services for free to people who can’t afford a tax preparer. How many will give up, rather than jump through the proposed regulatory hoops?

-Big firms — with more than 500 employees — pay $7,755 per employee per year to comply with federal regulations. Their smaller rivals have to pay a whopping $10,585 per employee per year. That’s a built-in competitive advantage of nearly $3,000 per employee, courtesy of Washington. No wonder so many businesses have D.C. offices these days.

-H&R Block alone spent nearly $1 million on lobbying in the last half of 2009, much of it pushing for these very tax-preparer regulations. It wants the deck stacked even further in its favor.

-The best solution to this problem is simplifying the tax code. There is no legitimate reason for the tax code to be so complicated that most people have to turn to others for help.

 

New CEI Podcast – October 25, 2010: Regulating Every Room

Have a listen here.

CEI’s Senior Fellow in Environmental Policy Ben Lieberman explains how new energy regulations affect every room in your house, from the basement to the bathroom to the kitchen and beyond.

New CEI Podcast – October 21, 2010: Relic of Prohibition

Have a listen here.

CEI Director of Insurance Studies Michelle Minton analyzes proposals to privatize Virginia’s liquor stores. Virginia is one of 18 states where the government holds a legal monopoly on the sale of spirits.

The East German Immigration Model


A U.S. Senate candidate in Alaska thinks that the U.S. should follow East Germany’s example when it comes to immigration. GOP nominee Joe Miller told a town hall audience, “The first thing that has to be done is secure the border. . .  East Germany was very, very able to reduce the flow.  Now, obviously, other things were involved.  We have the capacity to, as a great nation, secure the border.  If East Germany could, we could.”

He’s darn right “other things were involved.” See CEI’s video on the Berlin Wall for details. What a terrible choice of example.

Miller also forgets that East Germany’s 858 miles of fence weren’t meant to keep people out. That fence was meant to keep people in. Against their will. On pain of death.

It’s almost certain that Miller doesn’t really want the full-on East German border enforcement model. It was probably just a tasteless slip of the tongue. But he clearly favors a border fence. Which, of course, he should oppose if his goal is actually to reduce illegal immigration.

Many undocumented immigrants only stay in the U.S. for a few months. Get a job, make some money, go back home and share it with family. A border fence will keep a lot of people like that out, yes. But it also keeps current undocumented immigrants in. Unwillingly, in many cases.

If Miller wins his election, there is a lot he can do to reduce illegal immigration. Building an American version of the Berlin Wall is not one of them. As Alex Nowrasteh and I wrote, “The immigration black market only exists is because the government has made the legal market as cumbersome as it can.”

Miller should make legal immigration less cumbersome. People will come to America, no matter what. That’s what happens when you have one of the freest, richest, most dynamic nations on earth. That’s a fact of life that our broken immigration system does not take into account.

Neither, apparently, does Joe Miller.

 

CEI Podcast – October 14, 2010: Antitrust Follies and Regulatory Reform

Have a listen here.

CEI Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews talks about why antitrust actually hurts competition, and offers some ideas for regulatory reform based on his recent articles for BigGovernment.com and The Washington Times, and on his annual Ten Thousand Commandments report.

CEI Podcast – September 30, 2010: William F. Buckley

Have a listen here.

Jeremy Lott, a former Warren Brookes Fellow at CEI and an editor for RealClearPolitics, is the author of the new book, William F. Buckley. Jeremy talks about the book and the complicated, sometimes adversarial relationship between conservatism and libertarianism — a gap Buckley spent much of his life trying to bridge.