Tag Archives: federal government

Federal Register Reaches 10,000 Pages

The 2010 Federal Register passed the 10,000 page mark this morning. It hit the milestone with a State Department request for grant proposals for a “One-time Competitive Grants Program – Competition A – Academic Programs.” $8,000,000 of grants are available if you’re interested.

I noted earlier that it only took 4 working days to top 1,000 pages. Now, after 42 working days, the grand total is 10,158. That’s an average of 242 new pages of rules and notices every working day.

Assuming 250 working days this year, the 2010 Federal Register is on pace to reach 60,464 pages. This would be substantially lower than last year’s figure of 68,598. Part of the slowdown is likely due to the four-day federal shutdown from last month’s snow storms. Another factor is a relative lack of major legislation (so far), as often happens in election years.

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Federal Government Shuts Down Due to Snow

Few people outside of the DC area are likely to notice, but the recent snowstorm shut down the federal government today. Another big snow is on the way, so the feds are also taking tomorrow off.

The Washington Post reports:

Official estimate [sic] that closing the federal government for a day due to the weather costs roughly $100 million in lost productivity and opportunity costs, meaning this weekend’s storm will have potentially cost taxpayers at least $250 million, for last Friday’s early dismissal and Monday’s and Tuesday’s closures.

That is dwarfed, of course, by the opportunity costs of having a $3.8 trillion federal government in the first place. Not to mention the productivity losses.The federal government spends $49.1 billion enforcing regulations that cost nearly $1.2 trillion. if even half of that were freed up, imagine the good that would come of it.

The billions and billions of dollars spent on earmarks and stimulus would do far more good if that money stayed in the productive sector, subject to the self-correcting mechanisms of profit and loss.

In short: America benefits when Washington busybodies take a few days off. So enjoy it while it lasts.

There is great wisdom in Mark Twain’s famous adage: “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the congress is in session.”

Regulation of the Day 98: Gastrointestinal Drugs

Did you know that the federal government has a Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee? It’s true. If you don’t believe me, you can attend their upcoming meeting on February 23. The topic of the day will be a new drug application to treat hepatic encephalopathy.

Hopefully some hepatic encephalopathy sufferers will be there. They can ask the Committee why the FDA takes as long as a decade (and as much as $800 million!) to approve medications that could be helping people and saving lives right now.

Regulation of the Day 90: The National Poultry Improvement Plan

Having solved all the nation’s other problems, the federal government has a National Poultry Improvement Plan. Run in conjunction with state governments, “The main objective of this program is to use new diagnostic technology to effectively improve poultry and poultry products throughout the United States.”

Because the government puts so much time and attention into issues like chicken health, it is neglecting its core duty: protecting citizens from attack. Last week’s terrorist attack should be a wake-up call for the government to drop non-essential tasks and concentrate on what it should be doing.