The Corner

Regulation.gov

From a reader:

Thanks for pointing to that regulation video story. It led me to regulation.gov, a site I had no idea even existed. If you want to encourage people to think about limiting government, it may be the best unintentional resource ever. I’m not sure if you’ve looked it over, but I encourage you to take some time to look at it if you get a chance. It proudly states that it is a resource for regulations for over 300 federal agencies and that the federal government issues an average of 8,000 regulations a year. Holy cow! I had no idea there were so many new regulations and I consider myself a well-informed citizen. The cost to businesses and individuals to adhere to all those regulations must be astronomical. I know some are important and necessary, but 8,000 a year?

Actually, 8,000 a year sounds really low to me. I’ve had friends who’ve worked at HHS, Labor, HUD, EPA, FDA etc and from what they tell me that number should be much higher. Maybe I’m suffering from a terminological misunderstanding here (“findings” versus “regulations” or some such). Regardless, I think those 8,000 new regulations are just the tiny tip of some enormous object the bulk of which is obscured from view (I’m sick of iceberg metaphors).

Update: From a trade lawyer guy:

I think you’re probably right on the “terminological misunderstanding.”  “Regulations” refers to administrative regs, as published in the Code of Federal Regulations (the “CFR”).  The issuance of final regs can take a year of formal rulemaking (notice & comment, etc), so 8,000 new regs per year is an insane number.  Indeed, I don’t think that even this government could produce much more than that, given the timeframes and rules (yes, we have regs for for our regs!).

 

Then again, let’s please not challenge them to really dig down and push the envelope.

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