Category Archives: regulation

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The Senate passed the big infrastructure bill in a dramatic marathon vote. It now goes to the House. Up next is a $3.5 trillion spending bill, which will likely be followed by a $6 trillion spending bill. The 2021 Federal Register surpassed 45,000 pages, and is on pace to exceed 74,000 pages, though this would be far less than last year’s 87,352 pages. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from 4,4′-DMAR to market-dominant mail products.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 64 final regulations last week, after 67 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and eight minutes.
  • With 1,998 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,244 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,218 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 56 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 38 the previous week.
  • With 1,318 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,140 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 414 notices last week, after 394 notices the previous week.
  • With 13,461 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 21,852 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 2,236 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,998 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 296 pages.
  • With 45,619 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 74,057 pages in 2021. The 2020 total was 87,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. There are seven such rules so far in 2021, none from the last week. Agencies published five economically significant rules in 2020, and four in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from$1.17 billion to $2.13 billion. The 2020 figure ranges from net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 273 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with seven in the last week. This is on pace for 443 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 547 new rules affect small businesses; 73 are classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

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

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Nearly 1 million jobs were created in July, while Congress put the finishing touches on an infrastructure bill that will add about $250 billion to the deficit. Although only nine new regulations classified as “significant” were published in the past week, the year-to-date tally on the Federal Register’s official website somehow jumped from 31 to 266 last week (see my related Twitter thread). This is due to years-long transparency problems. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from hydroelectric permits to flying service animals.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 67 final regulations last week, after 63 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 31 minutes.
  • With 1,934 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,245 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,218 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 38 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 70 the previous week.
  • With 1,262 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,117 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 394 notices last week, after 444 notices the previous week.
  • With 13,047 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 21,891 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,998 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,440 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 287 pages.
  • With 43,380 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 72,785 pages in 2021. The 2020 total was 87,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. There are seven such rules so far in 2021, four from the last week. Agencies published five economically significant rules in 2020, and four in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from$1.17 billion to $2.13 billion. The 2020 figure ranges from net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 266 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with nine in the last week. This is on pace for 446 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 528 new rules affect small businesses. 70 are classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

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

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Second quarter GDP grew at a 6.5 percent annualized pace, although COVID’s delta variant, inflation, and massive deficit spending could dampen growth going forward. The 2021 Federal Register surpassed 40,000 pages, though the pundit class paid more attention to turning gymnastics into a culture war issue. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from pool pumps to spiny lobsters.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 63 final regulations last week, after 72 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 40 minutes.
  • With 1,867 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,241 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,218 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 70 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 45 the previous week.
  • With 1,224 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,125 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 444 notices last week, after 456 notices the previous week.
  • With 12,653 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 21,967 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,440 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 2,045 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 287 pages.
  • With 41,377 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 71,840 pages in 2021. The 2020 total was 87,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. There are two such rules so far in 2021, none from the last week. Agencies published five economically significant rules in 2020, and four in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. The 2020 figure ranges from net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 31 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with four in the last week. This is on pace for 54 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 412 new rules affect small businesses. Eight are classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

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

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The Olympic games began in Tokyo, after being delayed a year due to COVID-19. Congress is working its way through a $3.5 trillion spending bill that will reportedly include carbon tariffs. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from oil royalties to squid specifications.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 72 final regulations last week, after 75 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 20 minutes.
  • With 1,804 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,245 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,218 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 45 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 21 the previous week.
  • With 1,154 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,076 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 456 notices last week, after 355 notices the previous week.
  • With 12,209 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 21,959 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 2,045 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,405 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 287 pages.
  • With 39,937 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 71,829 pages in 2021. The 2020 total was 87,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. There are two such rules so far in 2021, none from the last week. Agencies published five economically significant rules in 2020, and four in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. The 2020 figure ranges from net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 22 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with one in the last week. This is on pace for 40 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 387 new rules affect small businesses. Seven are classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

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

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

CEI announced that renowned development economist William Easterly will receive its 2021 Julian Simon Award at a two-day event in Washington, D.C., on September 21 and 22. President Biden issued an Executive Order on competition, while new Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan took several measures to increase her agency’s antitrust activity. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from aquatic plant control to yak inspections.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 75 final regulations last week, after 48 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 15 minutes.
  • With 1,732 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,231 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,218 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 21 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 27 the previous week.
  • With 1,109 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,069 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 355 notices last week, after 342 notices the previous week.
  • With 11,753 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,112 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,405 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,099 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 283 pages.
  • With 37,889 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 70,702 pages in 2021. The 2020 total was 87,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. There are two such rules so far in 2021, none from the last week. Agencies published five economically significant rules in 2020 and four in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. The 2020 figure ranges from net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 22 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with one in the last week. This is on pace for 41 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 366 new rules affect small businesses. Seven are classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

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

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

It was a four-day workweek after Independence Day. Google received its fourth antitrust lawsuit and President Biden issued a major executive order intended to replace corporate dominance with Washington’s. Whatever the intentions, the result of these things is usually cronyism and regulatory capture. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from handwritten signatures to rental reporting.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 48 final regulations last week, after 73 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 30 minutes.
  • With 1,657 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,211 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,218 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 27 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 55 the previous week.
  • With 1,088 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,109 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 342 notices last week, after 482 notices the previous week.
  • With 11,398 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,112 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,099 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,527 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 283 pages.
  • With 36,482 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 70,702 pages in 2021. The 2020 total was 87,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. There are two such rules so far in 2021, none from the last week. Agencies published five economically significant rules in 2020, and four in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. The 2020 figure ranges from net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 21 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with two in the last week. This is on pace for 42 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 345 new rules affect small businesses. Seven are classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

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

A Sustained Recovery Needs a Deregulatory Stimulus

Over in The Hill, Wayne Crews and I argue that more deficit spending won’t help the COVID recovery. Regulatory reform is more powerful stimulus and won’t increase the deficit. It will also leave both the private and the public sector more resilient against the next crisis:

Trump’s failure to engage Congress was a massive missed opportunity, especially since his party held a majority in both chambers of Congress for his first two years. The regulatory “tax” is at least as significant as the fiscal tax reform he emphasized. Had Congress codified “Trumpian” reforms in legislation—and GOP members had introduced several bills to do so (and have even done so again, with greater futility, in the Biden era)—they would still be in place.

Now, as the recovery from COVID and the political reaction to it continues, regulatory relief would be a potent economic stimulus that would not add to the deficit like everything else that was and is being pursued, such as Biden’s costly and interventionist jobs and families plans. 

The just-released 2021 edition of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s annual Ten Thousand Commandments report pegs regulatory costs at least $2 trillion per year—more than twice the total cost of the infrastructure spending bill the House passed last Thursday.

Read the whole thing here. See also the just-released 2021 edition of Wayne’s Ten Thousand Commandments report.

On the Radio: Economic Recovery and Regulation

This morning, I was on the Tampa, FL-based Freedom Works show with Paul Molloy to talk about June’s jobs report and how vaccinations and regulatory reform can keep the COVID recovery going strong. The 10-minute segment is somewhere in this podcast version of the show.

Tomorrow, July 7, I’ll be on the Lars Larson Show at about 7:15 PM ET to talk about the new Ten Thousand Commandments report.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The CEI community mourned the loss of Steve Horwitz, a principled classical liberal, a fine economist, and an even finer person. We’ll miss you, Steve. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from space launch spectrum to truck driver training.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 73 final regulations last week, after 82 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 18 minutes.
  • With 1,609 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,200 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,218 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 55 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 41 the previous week.
  • With 1,061 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,122 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 482 notices last week, after 437 notices the previous week.
  • With 11,056 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,112 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,527 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,489 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 283 pages.
  • With 35,378 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 70,762 pages in 2021. The 2020 total was 87,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. There are two such rules so far in 2021, none from the last week. Agencies published five economically significant rules in 2020 and four in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. The 2020 figure ranges from net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 21 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with two in the last week. This is on pace for 42 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 332 new rules affect small businesses. Seven are classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

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

On the Radio: Ten Thousand Commandments

I was recently on the Mark Reardon Show on KFTK in St. Louis to talk about CEI’s new Ten Thousand Commandments report.

The audio is here, and starts about 23 minutes in.